Ajay Banga, an Indian-American businessman, was named to lead the World Bank by US President Joe Biden on Thursday. Banga, 63, will become the first Indian-American to lead either of the two leading international financial organisations, the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, if she is approved by the World Bank board of directors.
David Malpass, a US financier, served as the World Bank Group’s president until he resigned a little more than a week ago. On June 30, Malpass will step down, about a year before his five-year term is set to expire. In 2019, Donald Trump, the US president at the time, chose him.
An executive director vote of the World Bank will be required to ratify Banga. Often, the US nomination is chosen since it has the most shares. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), also known as the World Bank and the International Development Association, is governed by a board of executive directors, which the World Bank president serves as the official chair of (IDA).
They also preside over other UN bodies, including the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, and the Board of Directors of the International Finance Corporation (ICSID).
In India, Banga was raised. After graduating from Hyderabad Public School, he went on to acquire a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College of the University of Delhi. He later completed an MBA programme at the Indian Institute for Management, Ahmedabad.
He began his career in 1981 with Nestle before moving on to Pepsi and then Citigroup. Moreover, he served as the CEO and President of financial services corporation Mastercard. Banga and Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed India’s possibilities in the US business community when they met in New York in 2014, shortly after the latter’s election.
The Padma Shri was given to Banga by the Indian President in 2016.
At the moment, Banga holds the position of Vice Chairman at the private equity firm General Atlantic. According to his website bio, “he has served as an advisor to governments, enterprises, and organisations of various kinds during the course of his career.”
According to the White House briefing, Banga has served on the boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods, and Dow Corp. He is also the Honorary Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce. It also notes that Ajay was a founding trustee of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, a former member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and Chairman Emeritus of the American India Foundation. It reads, “Ajay has worked closely with Vice President Harris as the Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America.”
Banga also served on the Committee on Strengthening National Cybersecurity under President Obama.