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Indian-origin Ajay Banga to head World Bank

Ajay Banga will be leading World Bank's efforts to address the toughest development challenges faced by developing countries

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Ajay Banga, former Vice Chairman of General Atlantic, has been selected as the new President of the World Bank Group by its Executive Directors. The announcement was made on May 3, 2023.

63-year-old Banga was nominated for the post by U.S. President Joe Biden in late February and was the sole contender to replace departing World Bank chief David Malpass, an economist and former U.S. Treasury official who served in the Trump administration.

Banga will assume office on June 2 for a five-year term.

Son of an Indian Army officer, Ajay Banga was born in Pune, India, to a Sikh family originally from Jalandhar, Punjab. He earned a Bachelors degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi and a Management degree from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, before becoming a US citizen in mid 2000s.

In his illustrious career Banga worked with Nestle, served as the CEO of Mastercard for over a decade, and was the Vice Chairman of General Atlantic. At Mastercard as its President and CEO, Banga  launched of the Center for Inclusive Growth, which aimed to advance sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. He has also served as Honorary Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America, and on the boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods, and Dow Inc.

Ajay Banga World Bank
Former Indian President, Mr Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Padma Shri Award to Ajaypal Singh Banga. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Government of India awarded Banga the civilian honour of the Padma Shri in 2016 for business and management.

Ajay Banga’s appointment coincides with the World Bank Group’s ongoing evolution process, discussed at the April 2023 Spring Meetings. As President of the organisation, Banga will also assume the roles of Chair of the Board of the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and ex officio chair of the Boards of Directors of the International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

As soon as the announcement was made, US Vice President Kamala Haris and Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs in the Government of India took to Twitter to congratulate the new World Bank Chief on his latest feat:

The Board of Directors of the World Bank Group expressed their excitement to collaborate with Ajay Banga as he leads the organisation’s efforts to address the toughest development challenges faced by developing countries.

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