World Bank: Ajay Banga, an Indian-American business leader has been nominated by the US to lead the World Bank. President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that Banga is uniquely equipped to lead the global institution at this critical moment. Banga would be the first-ever Indian-American and Sikh-American to head either of the two top international financial institutions; International Monetary Fund and the World Bank if confirmed by the World Bank Board of Directors.
Banga: Ex-Mastercard CEO
Banga, 63, 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.
“He has spent more than three decades building and managing successful, global companies that create jobs and bring investment to developing economies, and guiding organisations through periods of fundamental change,” Biden said.
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Banga has become a global leader
According to the White House, over the course of his career, Banga has become a global leader in technology, data, financial services and innovating for inclusion. He is the 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. He became an advisor to General Atlantic’s climate-focused fund, BeyondNetZero, at its inception in 2021.
Previous experiences of Banga
He previously served on the Boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods and Dow Inc. Ajay has worked closely with Vice President Kamala Harris as the Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America. He is a past member of the US President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
He is 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. Banga 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 Barack Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.
Banga has been awarded Padma Shri
‘Ajay is uniquely equipped to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history,’ President Biden said in a statement. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2016. With this, he was also awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal in 2012, the Ellis Island Medal of Honour and the Business Council for International Understanding’s Global Leadership Award in 2019, and the Distinguished Friends of Singapore Public Service Star in 2021.
(With inputs from PTI)