Ajay Banga, the Indian-American business leader, will soon become the World Bank president. As per reports, he is the only nominee for the position because no other candidates were nominated. The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank will interview Ajay Banga before Banga is formally appointed.
President Joe Biden, in February, announced that the US shall nominate Ajay Banga to lead the World Bank. Banga is well-equipped to lead this global institution at this critical time. On Wednesday, the World Bank closed its window for nominations for its next president. And, there were no alternatives announced to Ajay Banga. On Thursday, the financial institution said that Ajay Banga is the sole application received for the post of president of the World Bank.
The Board of Executive Directors announced that Ajay Banga shall be considered for the post. A statement issued by the bank further said that according to the established procedures, the Board shall conduct a formal interview with the announced candidate. It expects to conclude the Presidential selection in some time. However, the bank did not announce the timing of the interview. But, a new leader of the World Bank can be expected to be chosen by May this year.
If the position is confirmed for Banga, then he would be the 1st-ever Sikh-American and Indian-American to head the World Bank. Ajay Banga shall replace the present World Bank president David Malpass. Malpass will step down in June. This is almost a year before his term is to expire. David Malpass faced high criticism over the bank’s commitment to climate action. However, reports emerged that China was doubtful about backing Ajay Banga. But, Banga received massive support from many major countries worldwide, including India.
What Janet Yellen, the US Treasury Secretary, said
On Wednesday, Janet Yellen, the US Treasury Secretary, told lawmakers at a Congressional hearing that people will see the World Bank undergoing an important transition over the coming few months. They expect President Biden’s nominee, Ajay Banga, to be elected World Bank president.
Yellen further said that Banga would accelerate their progress to evolve the financial institution to handle the 21st-century challenges better. This evolution shall also help the Bank deliver on its major poverty alleviation and development goals.
Ajay Banga is currently serving as the Vice Chairman at General Atlantic. He was the former Mastercard Inc. chief. Following his nomination, Banga has traveled to several countries for support. A coalition of fifty-five advocates, executives, academics, luminaries, and ex-government officials which included 4 Nobel Laureates wrote an open letter to welcome and support the nomination of Banga as the upcoming President of the World Bank. Ajay Banga seems to take over the leadership of the anti-poverty lender at a crucial time. This is when the Western nations and the US pitch for reforms to focus on a wide range of global issues, such as climate change.
Banga was raised in India. President Biden said he has a unique perspective on challenges and opportunities facing developing countries and how the global financial institution can deliver on its ambitious agenda to expand prosperity and reduce poverty.
Banga also worked closely with Vice President Kamala Harris as the Partnership for Central America Co-Chair. He was given the Padma Shri in the year 2016.