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Business News/ News / World/  Indian American Ajay Banga takes over as World Bank President

Indian American Ajay Banga takes over as World Bank President

Indian American Ajay Banga becomes the first person of colour to head the World Bank, succeeding David Malpass. Banga previously served as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic and was President and CEO of Mastercard.

World Bank President Ajay Banga arrives for his first day of work at World Bank headquarters in Washington (REUTERS)Premium
World Bank President Ajay Banga arrives for his first day of work at World Bank headquarters in Washington (REUTERS)

Ajay Banga, an Indian American, has assumed the role of President of the World Bank, becoming the first person of colour to lead either of the global financial institutions, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Selected by the World Bank's Executive Directors for a five-year term, Banga's appointment was announced on May 3. President Joe Biden had previously nominated him for this position.

The World Bank expressed its warm welcome to Ajay Banga in a tweet on Friday, accompanied by a photo of him entering the bank's headquarters .“Join us in welcoming Ajay Banga as the new President of the World Bank Group. We are committed to creating a world free from poverty on a livable planet."

“I wish Ajay Banga all the best as he takes up his new role as President of the World Bank today. I look forward to continuing the deep partnership between our institutions to do good and help those most in need," Kristalina Georgieva, the Managing Director of the IMF, tweeted.

Ajay Banga became the first Indian American to hold the position of President of the World Bank. He takes over from David Malpass, who announced his decision to step down in February. Prior to his role at the World Bank, Banga served as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic and held the position of President and CEO at Mastercard, a global organization with a workforce of nearly 24,000 employees.

During his tenure at Mastercard, Banga launched the Center for Inclusive Growth, focusing on promoting equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion worldwide. He was the Honorary Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce and Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America from 2020-2022., serving as Chairman from 2020-2022.

He became an advisor to General Atlantic’s climate-focused fund, BeyondNetZero, at its inception in 2021. Banga served as Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America, a coalition of private organizations that works to advance economic opportunity across underserved populations in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

He was previously on the Boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods, and Dow Inc. Banga is a co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute and was Vice Chair of the Economic Club of New York.

In recognition of his contributions, Banga has received several prestigious awards and honours, such as the Padma Shri Award from the President of India in 2016,, 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.. His extensive experience and management skills make him a valuable asset to the World Bank during a time of global challenges and opportunities.

On Thursday, Treasury Yellen met with Banga at the Treasury Department. During their engagement, Yellen warmly welcomed Banga’s upcoming presidency and conveyed her strong desire for the Treasury to continue close collaboration with him in building on the strong progress made so far on evolving multilateral development banks (MDBs), a media release said.

That includes continuing implementation of the recommendations of the G20 Capital Adequacy Framework review to get the most out of the Bank’s balance sheet, and improving and increasing the amount of private capital mobilised for our shared global development objectives and refining the operating model to increase the responsiveness and agility of the bank, it said.

Yellen stressed the need to support the poorest of the Bank’s member countries as they continue to face multiple crises, including continuing global macroeconomic headwinds exacerbated by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

In a meeting at the Treasury Department, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen expressed her warm welcome to Banga and emphasized the importance of close collaboration between the Treasury and the World Bank. Yellen reiterated the importance of the World Bank and emphasized the importance of working closely with other development banks. She expressed confidence in Banga's leadership and management abilities to navigate these challenges and further enhance the Bank's global development objectives.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Updated: 03 Jun 2023, 03:12 PM IST
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