Indian-American Ajay Banga Takes Over As World Bank President
Washington: Indian-American Ajay Banga was sworn in as the head of the World Bank on Friday, the first person of color to head one of the two global financial institutions, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
On May 3, the World Bank’s executive directors elected the 63-year-old Banga as the World Bank’s 14th president for a five-year term.
In February, President Joe Biden announced that the United States would appoint Banka to lead the World Bank.
“Join us in welcoming Ajay Banga as the new President of the World Bank Group. We are committed to creating a world without poverty on a habitable planet,” the World Bank said in a tweet on Friday accompanied by a picture of Banga entering the bank headquarters.
“My best wishes to Ajay Banka as he assumes his new role as President of the World Bank today. I look forward to deepening the partnership between our institutions to do good and help those in need,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a tweet.
Banka is the first Indian-American to head the World Bank. He replaces David Malpass, who announced his decision to step down in February.
Banka most recently served as a vice president at General Atlantic. Previously, he was president and CEO of Mastercard, a global organization with nearly 24,000 employees.
Under his leadership, MasterCard launched the Center for Inclusive Growth, which promotes equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. He was Honorary President of the International Chamber of Commerce, serving as President from 2020-2022.
He became an advisor to General Atlantic’s climate-focused fund BeyondNetZero in 2021. Banga served as co-chair of the Central America Partnership, a coalition of private enterprises working to improve economic opportunity among disadvantaged populations in El Salvador. , Guatemala and Honduras. He previously served on the boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods, and Dow Inc.
Banga is the co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute and vice president of the Economic Club of New York. He was awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal in 2012, the Padma Shri Award by the President of India in 2016, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Global Leadership Award of the Business Council for International Understanding in 2019 and Distinguished Friends of Singapore Public Service. star in 2021.
On Thursday, Treasury Yellen met with Banka at the Treasury Department. During their engagement, Yellen warmly welcomed Banka’s incoming presidency and expressed her strong desire for the Treasury to continue working closely with him to build on the strong progress made so far in creating multilateral development banks (MDBs).
This includes continuing to implement the recommendations of the G20 Capital Adequacy Framework, improving and increasing the level of private capital mobilized for our shared global growth objectives and refining the operating model to get more from the Bank’s balance sheet. and bank agility, it said.
Yellen also reiterated the importance of the World Bank working more closely with its sister development banks.
Yellen stressed the need to support the poorer countries of the Bank’s member countries as they continue to face multiple crises, including continued global economic interventions exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Yellen underscored that she looks forward to having Banga’s experienced leadership and proven management skills at the helm of this important multilateral institution at a time of significant global challenges and opportunities.