Biden nominates Indian-American Ajay Banga for World Bank president

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Washington: President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that the US is nominating Ajay Banga to lead the World Bank, saying the Indian-American business leader is uniquely equipped to lead the global institution at “this critical moment in history.”

Banga, 63, currently serves as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic. Previously, he was President and CEO of Mastercard, leading the company through a strategic, technological and cultural transformation. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2016.

“Ajay is uniquely equipped to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history,” President Biden said in a statement.

“He has spent more than three decades building and managing successful, global companies that create jobs and bring investment to developing economies, and guiding organisations through periods of fundamental change.

“He has a proven track record managing people and systems, and partnering with global leaders around the world to deliver results,” Biden said.

Banga also has critical experience mobilising public-private resources “to tackle the most urgent challenges of our time, including climate change,” the US President said.

Raised in India, 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, he added.

Over the course of his career, Banga has become a global leader in technology, data, financial services and innovating for inclusion. He is honorary chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, serving as chairman from 2020-2022. He is also chairman of Exor and independent director at Temasek.

He became an advisor to General Atlantic’s climate-focused fund, BeyondNetZero, at its inception in 2021. He previously served on the Boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods and Dow Inc.

Banga, who has worked closely with Vice President Kamala Harris as the Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America, is a member of the Trilateral Commission, a founding trustee of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, a former member of the National Committee on US-China Relations, and Chairman Emeritus of the American India Foundation.

He is a co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute, Vice Chair of the Economic Club of New York and served as a member of President Barack Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. He is a past member of the US President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

He was awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal in 2012, 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.

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( With inputs from www.siasat.com )

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