Apple CEO Steve Jobs has made it to an exclusive list of "America's Best leaders".

The list - published by US News & World Report - was created with help from Harvard University and is available at US newsagents.

In a series of profiles and essays the publication examines the critical elements of leading in the 21st century, focusing in the individuals presently shaping the century.

However, a survey conducted among 1,374 US adults, reveals a damaging gap between US leaders and US citizens.

The study found that the 73 per cent of US people believe their leaders are out of touch with the average person and 72 per cent believe that unless the country's leaders improve, the US will decline as a nation.

Bill and Melinda Gates, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and eBay CEO Margaret Whitman also made the list.