World Bank names Ajay Banga as its new president


Following a selection process and interview, Ajay Banga has been selected as the 14th president of the World Bank.

The executive directors of the World Bank have selected Ajay Banga as president of the World Bank for a five-year term beginning on 2 June 2023. He replaces current president, David Malpass, who announced his resignation earlier this year.

Banga, who was nominated by US president Joe Biden for the post, is the first-ever Indian American to lead the bank and will play a key role as it strives to help low-income countries overcome debt and combat the challenge of climate change.

Following stints at Nestle and Citigroup, Banga most recently served as vice chairman at General Atlantic and was previously president and CEO of Mastercard. Under his leadership, MasterCard launched the Center for Inclusive Growth, which advances equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world.

Banga was also previously honorary chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, serving as chairman from 2020-2022 and he became an advisor to General Atlantic’s climate-focused fund, BeyondNetZero, at its inception in 2021. Banga also served as co-chair of the Partnership for Central America, a coalition of private organisations that works to advance economic opportunity across underserved populations in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. He also previously sat on the boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods and Dow Inc.

The World Bank’s executive directors followed the selection process agreed by shareholders in 2011, which included an open, merit-based and transparent nomination where any national of the bank’s membership could be proposed by any executive director or governor through an executive director. This was then followed by thorough due diligence and a comprehensive interview of Banga by the executive directors.

The World Bank’s board said it was looking forward to working with Banga on the World Bank Group Evolution process, as discussed at the April 2023 Spring Meetings and on all the World Bank Group’s ambitions and efforts aimed at tackling the toughest development challenges facing developing countries.

US president Joe Biden described Banga as “a transformative leader” who was well equipped to run the bank. “He will help steer the institution as it evolves and expands to address global challenges that directly affect its core mission of poverty reduction, including climate change,” said Biden.

The president of the World Bank Group is also the chair of the board of the executive directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and also the ex-officio chair of the board of directors of the International Development Association, International Finance Corporation, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and the administrative council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.