Ajay Banga pictured on April 6, 2011 in New York.
Washington – The candidate of the United States for the post of president of the World Bank is Indian-American businessman Ajay Banga (63), former head of MasterCard. Bang was nominated today by US President Joe Biden. SB is looking for a new boss as current president David Malpass announced mid-month that he has decided to step down at the end of June.
SB expects to select a new president by early May. Banga's nomination is the first to be announced so far. The SB will accept nominations from other member countries until March 29. Germany, which is one of the bank's major shareholders, said this week that a woman should be given the position because in the institution's 77-year history, a woman has never stood.
However, Banga is expected to get the job. The United States has the largest voting rights and it is tradition that the SB is headed by an American, while the sister International Monetary Fund (IMF) is headed by a representative of Europe.
The World Bank is now embarking on a sweeping series of reforms to better respond to climate change and other pressing challenges facing developing countries. Biden highlighted Banga's experience in connecting public and private resources to address pressing issues such as climate change. He also said he grew up in India, which gives him a unique perspective on how the bank could fulfill its twin goals of reducing poverty and expanding prosperity.
Banga grew up in India but now holds American citizenship. He is currently the vice-chairman of the private American investment company General Atlantic and serves as the honorary chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce. He worked for 12 years at the head of the MasterCard company before deciding to retire in December 2021.
The 66-year-old Malpass became the head of SB in April 2019, and his five-year mandate was to expire next year. He was nominated for the position by then US President Donald Trump. Malpass did not provide a more specific justification for his early departure from the position. However, the media pointed out that he was criticized for his statements about climate change.
SB was originally founded to help countries affected by the Second World War. Currently, its main role is to reduce poverty through loans to governments or private entities in developing and middle-rich countries. In addition to money, it also provides technical assistance and consulting services. The bank is owned by member countries, the shares correspond to the countries' economic strength.