USA (Commonwealth Union)_ US President Joe Biden announced that former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga will be nominated to lead the World Bank after chief David Malpass declared his intention to step down early. The development lender has just begun taking candidate nominations for a process that will conclude on March 29, with the bank stating that women candidates are highly encouraged to apply. Generally, the president of the World Bank would be an American, while the head of the International Monetary Fund would be an European.
The 63 year-old Indian-American Banga is a vice chairman of the equity company General Atlantic. He formerly served as the CEO of Mastercard. According to the statement from Biden, Banga has vital expertise in leveraging public-private resources to address the most serious issues of today, including climate change. The present World Bank President, David Malpass, who was appointed to the position in 2019 by Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, announced that he will resign nearly a year early, completing a tenure that was plagued by climate skepticism. His tenure was initially scheduled to expire in 2024.
The nomination of Banga coincides with a push for development lenders to restructure and more efficiently handle global concerns such as environmental difficulties. According to an earlier statement from US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, lenders’ basic models, in which nations borrow to make particular expenditures addressing developmental restrictions, are inadequate to fulfill the current needs. Further, the United States is the largest stakeholder in the World Bank.
Yellen commended Biden’s decision in a separate statement. She said, “Banga has the right leadership and management skills, experience living and working in emerging markets, and financial expertise to lead the World Bank at a critical moment in its history”. According to her, his expertise in establishing partnerships between the public sector, the private sector, and non-profit organizations will enable him to handle private resources and advocate for the reforms required to achieve the shared goals.
According to a senior US government official, “At Mastercard and General Atlantic, Ajay has made combating climate change and mobilizing private capital to help power the green transition a priority.” He added, “These are experiences and priorities that will guide and drive his work in the years ahead at the World Bank”. When asked about the World Bank’s support for women candidates, the US official said that Banga, who was born, bred, and spent the early stage of his career in India’s developing market, had a personal conviction and a great track record in fostering diversity in his work.