Biden nominates ex-Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga as World Bank chief

Wednesday 01st March 2023 05:38 EST

Washington: After World Bank President David Malpass declared his intention to step down early, US President Joe Biden announced that Washington is proposing former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga as the organization's new leader.

The development lender has just begun taking nominations for candidates, and the bank has stated that women candidates would be "highly" encouraged. The nomination period is scheduled to go through March 29.

Banga, 63, is Indian-American and currently serving as vice chairman at equity firm General Atlantic. He was previously chief executive at Mastercard.

Banga has "critical experience mobilizing public-private resources to tackle the most urgent challenges of our time, including climate change," said Biden in a statement.

The current World Bank President, David Malpass, said last week that he will leave the position almost a year early. Malpass was appointed for the position by Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, in 2019. Originally, his term would have expired in 2024.

Banga's nomination comes amid a push for development lenders to revamp and address global problems like environmental issues more effectively.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen earlier said that lenders' core models, where countries borrow to make specific investments addressing developmental constraints, is "insufficient to meet the moment."

Speaking to reporters, a senior US administration official said: "At Mastercard and General Atlantic, Ajay has made combating climate change and mobilizing private capital to help power the green transition a priority."

"These are experiences and priorities that will guide and drive his work in the years ahead at the World Bank," the official said.

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