The Executive Directors of the World Bank have announced that Ajay Banga has been chosen as the new President of the World Bank for a term of five years, starting from June 2, 2023.
The World Bank expressed its enthusiasm for Banga’s appointment, citing his vast experience and accomplishments in the business sector. Ajay Banga, former Vice Chairman at General Atlantic and President and CEO of Mastercard, has been appointed as an advisor to General Atlantic’s climate-focused fund, BeyondNetZero, since its inception in 2021.
With nearly 24,000 employees under his leadership, Mastercard launched the Center for Inclusive Growth which aimed to promote sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion globally.
Banga served as Honorary Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce from 2020-2022 and Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America, which advocates for economic opportunity across underserved populations in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. He also served on the Boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods, and Dow Inc.
The press release noted that Ajay Banga, a prominent business leader, and co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute, has been recognised with several prestigious awards for his outstanding contributions to society. In 2012, he was awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal, followed by the Padma Shri Award by the President of India in 2016.
In 2019, he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Business Council for International Understanding’s Global Leadership Award. Most recently, he was honoured with the Distinguished Friends of Singapore Public Service Star in 2021. Mr. Banga’s exceptional achievements and global recognition have made him a distinguished figure in the international business community.
The World Bank has announced that the selection process for its new Managing Director followed the guidelines agreed upon by shareholders in 2011. The process involved an open, transparent, and merit-based nomination, where any national of the Bank’s membership was eligible to be proposed by any Executive Director or Governor through an Executive Director.
Following this, Mr. Banga underwent a rigorous due diligence process and an extensive interview with the Executive Directors. The Bank has emphasised that the selection was made solely on the basis of merit and qualifications.
The Board of the World Bank expressed its anticipation of collaborating with Mr. Banga regarding the ongoing World Bank Group Evolution process, which was deliberated during the Spring Meetings held in April 2023. Additionally, the Board aims to work with Mr. Banga on all of the World Bank Group’s initiatives geared towards addressing the most complex development issues confronting developing nations.
The World Bank Group has announced that the President of the organisation serves as the Chair of the Board of Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
Furthermore, the President also holds the ex officio position of the Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). This important role highlights the President’s significant involvement in the leadership and governance of these international financial institutions.
Ajay Banga, the former CEO of Mastercard and a naturalised US citizen born in India, has made history by becoming the first Indian-American to be elected as World Bank President. This comes more than two months after being nominated for the role by US President Joe Biden. The 63-year-old Banga was the sole nominee for the top job and will be taking over from David Malpass, who is stepping down early amid criticism over his stance on climate change.
India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, expressed her confidence that the newly elected President of the World Bank, Ajay Banga, will utilise his corporate experience in achieving the goals of the international lending organisation. In a tweet, Sitharaman congratulated Banga on his appointment and expressed her optimism that his expertise in the corporate sector will benefit the Bank’s objectives.
Ajay Banga has been approved as the next President of the World Bank by the Bank’s Board of Governors. US President Joe Biden, who had nominated Banga for the position, expressed his congratulations and stated that Banga’s leadership will be transformative for the institution.
Biden highlighted Banga’s expertise, experience, and innovation, which will help the World Bank address global challenges, including poverty reduction and climate change. The President also emphasised the importance of public-private partnerships in bringing about fundamental changes in development finance. Biden expressed his commitment to working with Banga to support his efforts in transforming the World Bank and reducing poverty around the world.