After months of wanting to oust Trump-appointed David Malpass as President of the World Bank, the White House announced on Thursday that President Joe Biden will appoint Ajay S. Banga as its new leader.
Banga is the former CEO and Chairman of Mastercard. Currently, Banga is the vice chairman of General Atlantic, a private equity firm.
Malpass announced this month his plan to step down on June 30, four years into his five-year term. The White House has been critical of Malpass over climate change.
Banga’s selection is expected to shift the Bank’s emphasis from the eradication of poverty to a long-desired emphasis of digitalization and climate change, which is parallel to the World Economic Forum’s commitments and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Banga has a long history with former President Barak Obama and the World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/authors/ajay-banga
As recently as 2021, Banga stated at Davos that you cannot have everything internet without having the internet for everyone, and hence, has concluded that the covid-19 pandemic has accelerated digitalization.
In 2021, Banga sat on a Davos panel focusing on global digitalization.
https://www.mastercardcenter.org/events/Davos-2021-Ajay-Banga He is the Co-Founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute.
In 2014, Banga presented at the World Economic Forum’s on the need to expand financial inclusion through digitalization.
The World Bank president has been an American citizen since its founding after World War II, and the U.S. candidate is traditionally chosen to head the bank. The nominee must be confirmed by the World Bank's executive board.
"Ajay is uniquely equipped to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history," Mr. Biden said in a statement announcing the nomination. "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."
The president said that across Banga's three decades of business experience, he has a "proven track record" of managing large organizations and working alongside leaders worldwide, and Mr. Biden highlighted his experience tapping into public-private resources to tackle pressing issues, 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," reads the White House statement.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen applauded Banga's nomination, saying in a statement that his leadership and management skills, as well as experience, will help the World Bank evolve to "meet global challenges like climate change."
"While the World Bank will continue to play a key role in improving the lives of people around the globe, it can't do it alone," Yellen said. "Mr. Banga's track record of forging partnerships between the public sector, private sector and non-profits uniquely equips him to help mobilize the private capital and press for the reforms needed to meet our shared ambitions."
Before joining General Atlantic, Banga worked for more than a decade at Mastercard as its president and chief executive, and then the company's executive chairman. He served as chief executive officer of Citigroup's Asia-Pacific region and worked at Nestle in India for 13 years. He has served on the boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods and Dow Inc.
Full disclosure: CDMedia's Christine Dolan led ethics seminars for the World Bank’s global management which was initiated by the late Jim Wolfensohn, who served as World Bank President from 1995-2005.
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