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.
Banga, 63, was nominated for the post by U.S. President Joe Biden in late February and was the sole contender to replace departing World Bank chief David Malpass, an economist and former U.S. Treasury official who served in the Trump administration.
The election came after World Bank board members interviewed Banga for four hours on Monday. Malpass’ last day at the bank will be June 1. The decision came in a vote by 24 of the board’s members, with Russia abstaining, instead of the usual consensus-based process, a source familiar with the process said.
Biden congratulated Banga on his “resounding approval” to run the World Bank, which he described as “one of humanity’s most critical institutions to reduce poverty and expand prosperity around the globe.”
“Ajay Banga will be a transformative leader, bringing expertise, experience, and innovation to the position of World Bank President,” Biden said. “He will help steer the institution as it evolves and expands to address global challenges that directly affect its core mission of poverty reduction — including climate change.”
Ajay Banga most recently served as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic. Previously, he was President and CEO of Mastercard, a global organization with nearly 24,000 employees.
Under his leadership, MasterCard launched the Center for Inclusive Growth, which advances equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world.
He was Honorary Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, 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.
Ajay Banga is a co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute and was Vice Chair of the Economic Club of New York. He was awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal in 2012, the Padma Shri Award by the President of India in 2016, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Business Council for International Understanding’s Global Leadership Award in 2019, and the Distinguished Friends of Singapore Public Service Star in 2021.
The Executive Directors followed the selection process agreed by shareholders in 2011. The process included an open, merit-based, and transparent nomination where any national of the Bank’s membership could be proposed by any Executive Director or Governor through an Executive Director. This was then followed by thorough due diligence and a comprehensive interview of Mr. Banga by the Executive Directors.
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 President of the World Bank Group is also the Chair of the Board of the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
The President is also ex officio chair of the Board of Directors of the International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and of the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).