Kamala Harris Says Ajay Banga Will Be A ‘Transformative’ World Bank Chief
WASHINGTON, DC (IANS) – President Joe Biden has named Ajay Banga, the former Indian American head of Mastercard, to head the World Bank and if confirmed by the Senate, Banga will be the first person of Indian descent to head the World Bank.
He will succeed David Malpas, who was appointed to head the bank by then President Donald Trump. Banga will be the second American of Asian-American descent in that position; the first was Dr. Jim Yong Kim. The US has historically had a hold on the Presidency of the World Bank and the Europeans on the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Vice President Kamala Harris, who is half Indian, said in a statement: “Ajay Banga will be a transformative World Bank President as the institution works to deliver on its core development goals and address pressing global challenges, including climate change.”
Harris said she has worked with Banga since her election “on a new model of a public-private partnership designed to address the root causes of migration in Northern Central America”, which was a key responsibility Biden entrusted her with to curb the flow of migrants from the region into the US.
Banga, who was born in India and studied at Delhi’s St Stephen’s College, currently serves as vice chairman at General Atlantic. Previously, he was President and CEO of Mastercard.
He has worked closely with Vice President Harris as the Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America. He 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 United States-China Relations, and Chairman Emeritus of the American India Foundation.
Banga was awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal in 2012, the Padma Shri Award by 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