President Biden nominates Ajay Banga to lead World Bank, calls him “uniquely equipped”

Ajay Banga, former head of MasterCard. Photo Twitter @MasterCard -August 23, 2019 post.

President Joe Biden announced Feb. 23, 2023, that the United States is nominating Ajay Banga to be President of the World Bank. The White House in a press release described the Indian American former head of MasterCard, as a nominee with “extensive experience” leading successful organizations in developing countries and forging public-private partnerships to address financial inclusion and climate change.

“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,” President Biden said in a statement.

“He also has critical experience mobilizing public-private resources to tackle the most urgent challenges of our time, including climate change,” Biden added.

“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,” the U.S. President said.

Vice President Kamala Harris also made a formal statement on the nomination.

“Ajay 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,” Harris said. “Since I was elected Vice President, Ajay and I have worked closely together on a new model of public-private partnership designed to address the root causes of migration in Northern Central America. Through that partnership, nearly 50 businesses and organizations have mobilized to generate more than $4.2 billion in commitments that will create opportunity and hope for people in the region. Ajay has brought great insight, energy, and persistence to the challenges of promoting economic development and tackling the root causes of migration,” Harris added.

President Biden is credited with having at least 130 Indian-Americans in top positions in his administrations, and this adds another feather in the cap of the community which is considered among the most successful in the country.

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, Ajay has become a global leader in technology, data, financial services and innovating for inclusion,” the White House noted.

He is 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.

Banga 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.

He has worked closely with Vice President Harris as the Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America, the White House said.

Banga is also 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.

Among the several awards Banga has received is 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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