The United States has nominated former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to lead the World Bank.
President Joe Biden announced the nomination Thursday (Feb. 23), citing Banga’s experience in managing businesses, partnering with global leaders, mobilizing public-private resources, and addressing financial inclusion and climate change.
“Ajay is uniquely equipped to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history,” Biden said in a press release. “He has spent more than three decades building and managing successful, global companies that create jobs and bring investment to developing economies, and guiding organizations through periods of fundamental change.”
Bloomberg reported Thursday that the World Bank began the nomination process Thursday and has signaled that it may not make a final selection until May, but that the U.S. — which is the bank’s largest shareholder — typically nominates the person who ultimately gets the post.
Banga currently serves as vice chairman at global growth equity investor General Atlantic. He joined the firm Jan. 1, 2022, to advise executive leaders and sector managers on the firm’s overall strategy and investment approach.
Before that, Banga was president and CEO at Mastercard. While there, he spent 10 years as CEO and drove its transformation from a payments network for banks to a technology and data services firm that links people, government and businesses to the digital economy.
Banga left his post as CEO to become Mastercard’s executive chairman effective Jan. 1, 2021. He then retired from the firm Dec. 31, 2021, in a move that Mastercard said was “a thoughtful and intentional executive transition announced in February 2020.”
Banga has also worked closely with Vice President Kamala Harris as co-chair of the Partnership for Central America.
Harris said Thursday in a statement that they have worked together to build a public-private partnership to address the root causes of migration in Northern Central America and that the partnership has mobilized 50 businesses and organizations to generate $4.2 billion in commitments to create opportunity in the region.
“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 in the statement.