WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden on Thursday (local time) nominated former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to lead the World Bank.
“Ajay is uniquely equipped to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history. He has spent more than three decades building and managing successful, global companies that create jobs and bring investment to developing economies and guiding organizations through periods of fundamental change. He has a proven track record managing people and systems, and partnering with global leaders around the world to deliver results,” read Biden’s statement.
Banga, a business leader with extensive experience leading successful organizations in developing countries and forging public-private partnerships to address financial inclusion and climate change, is to be President of the World Bank.
“He also has critical experience mobilizing public-private resources to tackle the most urgent challenges of our time, including climate change. Raised in India, Ajay has a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing developing countries and how the World Bank can deliver on its ambitious agenda to reduce poverty and expand prosperity,” read the statement.
The decision comes after World Bank’s President David Malpass earlier said that he will step down almost a year early from his position.
Malpass’ exit comes months after calls grew for him to step down after he declined to acknowledge the scientific consensus that fossil fuels were warming the planet.
Malpass faced criticism from climate activists in September after he refused to confirm during a climate panel whether he accepted the scientific consensus that burning fossil fuels were dangerously warming the planet, reported CNN.
Banga currently serves as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic. Previously, he was President and CEO of Mastercard, leading the company through a strategic, technological and cultural transformation.
Over the course of his career, he has become a global leader in technology, data, financial services and innovating for inclusion.
He is the Honorary Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, serving as Chairman from 2020-2022. He is also Chairman of Exor and Independent Director at Temasek. He became an advisor to General Atlantic’s climate-focused fund, BeyondNetZero, at its inception in 2021.
He previously served on the Boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods and Dow Inc. Banga has worked closely with Vice President Harris as the Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America.
He is a member of the Trilateral Commission, a founding trustee of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, a former member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and Chairman Emeritus of the American India Foundation.
He is a co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute, Vice Chair of the Economic Club of New York and served as a member of President Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. He is a past member of the US President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
Banga was awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal in 2012, the Padma Shri by the President of India in 2016, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Business Council for International Understanding’s Global Leadership Award in 2019, and the Distinguished Friends of Singapore Public Service Star in 2021.
The World Bank, a group of 187 nations, lends money to developing countries to help reduce poverty. Former US President Donald Trump appointed Malpass as World Bank chief in 2019 for a five-year period. As the largest shareholder, the United States traditionally appoints its president. (ANI)