US President Joe Biden has announced the appointment of former Mastercard CEO Ajay Singh Banga as the next President of the World Bank, making history as the first person of Indian origin to hold this position. However, Banga’s appointment is subject to approval by the World Bank’s Board of Directors. If he is approved, Banga will also become the first Indian-American and Sikh-American to reach this position in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Banga has over 30 years of business experience and has held various positions with Mastercard. He is currently the vice president of private equity firm General Atlantic and has served on the boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods, and Dow Inc. President Biden praised Banga’s leadership and experience, stating that he is uniquely suited to lead the World Bank at this crucial moment in history.
Banga’s appointment comes after World Bank chief David Malpass announced he would step down in June. The process to appoint Malpas’ successor has begun, with nominations open until March 29. The final selection is expected to be made in early May. Germany recently called for a woman to be appointed to this position, as no woman has held the post in the 77-year history of the World Bank.
Banga has also been actively involved in various organizations, serving as co-chair of the Partnership for Central America with US Vice President Kamala Harris, a member of the Trilateral Commission, a founding trustee of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, and Chairman Emeritus of the American India Foundation.