President Biden on Thursday nominated Ajay Banga, the former CEO of Mastercard, to be president of the World Bank with an eye towards focusing on climate at the international agency.
Biden in a statement noted Banga being raised in India gives him 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.”
Banga replaces Trump-era president David Malpass, who stepped down this week amid criticism over seemingly casting doubts about climate change. The White House had intended to nominate a person to lead the monetary agency who was dedicated to fighting climate change.
“He has spent more than three decades building and managing successful, global companies that create jobs and bring investment to developing economies, and guiding organizations through periods of fundamental change,” Biden said of Banga. “He also has critical experience mobilizing public-private resources to tackle the most urgent challenges of our time, including climate change.”
Banga is currently vice chairman at General Atlantic, a global growth equity investor, after serving as president and CEO of Mastercard from 2010 to 2020.
He is also an adviser to General Atlantic’s climate-focused fund, BeyondNetZero, and is an honorary chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce.
Banga has worked closely with Vice President Harris as the co-chair of the Partnership for Central America and served as a member of former President Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.
He previously served on the boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods and Dow Inc, and he is a co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute.
The U.S. typically picks the head of the World Bank while Europe selects who will lead its sister agency, the International Monetary Fund.