Indian-origin Ajay Banga has been confirmed as the next president of World Bank.
Banga, the former CEO of Mastercard, was born in Pune and graduated in Economics from Delhi’s prestigious St Stephen’s College. He went on to complete his MBA at IIM, Ahmedabad. He joins an expansive list of Indian-origin individuals taking various prestigious global positions- the likes of UK PM Rishi Sunak, a host of tech CEOs like YouTube’s Neal Mohan, Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen, among others.
"The Executive Directors of the World Bank today selected Ajay Banga as President of the World Bank for a five-year term beginning June 2, 2023," the bank said in a press statement.
In February, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. would be nominating Banga, 63, to lead the World Bank because he is "well equipped" to lead the global institution at "this critical moment in history."
"The Board looks forward to working with Mr. 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," the statement added.
The former Mastercard Inc. chief, Mr. Banga currently serves as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic.
Mr. Banga is the first-ever Indian-American and Sikh-American to head either of the two top international financial institutions: the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Raised in India, Mr. Banga has a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing developing countries and how the World Bank can deliver on its ambitious agenda to reduce poverty and expand prosperity, President Biden had said.
He has also worked closely with Vice President Harris as the Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America.
He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2016.
Mr. Banga is expected to take over the reins of the anti-poverty lender at a crucial time, with the U.S. and Western nations pitching for reforms to focus on addressing a slew of wide-ranging global issues like climate change.