Pune-born American Ajay Banga becomes 14th President of World Bank


Ajay Banga, the Pune-born American and former Mastercard CEO, was on Wednesday selected as the President of the World Bank by its executive directors for a five-year term starting June 2.

“The Board looks forward to working with Mr. Banga,” the World Bank Board said in a statement.

President Joe Biden nominated Banga in February this year. The US has chosen every World Bank President in an unwritten agreement with Europe since 1944, according to which Europe gets to select the President of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), leaving the World Bank top job for the US.

They still go through the process of nomination and “selection”, which is really a tool to grant confirmation.

Banga will be the 14th President of the World Bank. He will take over from David Malpass, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump.

Banga was born in Pune, Maharashtra, and went to schools in Shimla and Hyderabad. He graduated in economics from St Stephen’s College in Delhi and did his masters in business administration from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

“Ajay Banga will be a transformative leader, bringing expertise, experience, and innovation to the position of World Bank President,” Biden said in a statement.

“And together with World Bank leadership and shareholders, he will help steer the institution as it evolves and expands to address global challenges that directly affect its core mission of poverty reductiona, including climate change. Ajay will also be integral in bringing together the public and private sectors, alongside philanthropies, to usher in the fundamental changes in development finance that this moment requires.”

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a separate statement, “Ajay Banga will bring to this important role the right leadership and management skills, experience of living and working in emerging markets, and financial expertise to lead the World Bank at a critical moment in its history. Ajay understands that the challenges we face – from combatting climate change, pandemics, and fragility to eliminating extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity – are deeply intertwined. He has effectively built a broad global coalition around his vision for the World Bank over the course of his candidacy.”

Banga most recently served as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic. He was previously the President and CEO of Mastercard. He has also served on several boards. He is a Co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute and was Vice Chair of the Economic Club of New York.

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.

Related posts