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President Biden Nominates Former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to Lead the World Bank

President Biden Nominates Former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to Lead the World Bank

  • If confirmed, the 63-year-old, who currently serves as vice chairman at General Atlantic, is expected to reshape the global development institution and broaden its ambitions to combat climate change.

President Joe Biden has nominated former Mastercard chief executive Ajay Banga to be the next president of the World Bank, the White House announced today. The president said the Indian American “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.”

Banga has worked closely with Vice President Kamala Harris as the co-chair of the Partnership for Central America. Harris said Banga “will be a transformative World Bank president as the institution works to deliver on its core development goals and address pressing global challenges, including climate change.” 

Since she was elected Vice President, Harris said she and Banga have “worked closely together on a new model of a public-private partnership designed to address the root causes of migration in Northern Central America.” She said Banga “has brought great insight, energy, and persistence to the challenges of promoting economic development and tackling the root causes of migration.”

The 63-year-old currently serves as vice chairman at the equity firm General Atlantic. Previously, he was President and CEO of Mastercard, leading the company through a strategic, technological and cultural transformation.

The New York Times noted that his “selection that is likely to drastically reshape the global development institution and broaden its ambitions to combat climate change.” While it is not clear if any other countries will nominate a candidate, The Times said “the World Bank president is traditionally an American citizen chosen by the United States. If confirmed, Banga will bring vast experience running large organizations and deep knowledge of the digital economy, the report added. “Raised in India, he would bring a firsthand understanding of the challenges that developing countries face.”

 Over the course of his career, Banga 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. 

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He is a member of the Trilateral Commission, a founding trustee of the U.S.-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 U.S. President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

 He was awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal in 2012, the Padma Shri Award 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.

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