Ajay Baanga, the former CEO of Mastercard, was chosen by the World Bank’s board of governors to lead the organization for a five-year term.
Banga is an Indian-born financial and development expert who will restructure the bank to better address climate change and other global challenges.
The 63-year-old Banga was the sole candidate to succeed David Malpass when he was nominated for the position by US President Joe Biden in late February. On June 2, he starts his new work.
Banga was interviewed by World Bank board members for four hours on Monday before the election. June 1 will be Malpass’ last day working for the bank. Instead of the customary consensus-based procedure, the decision was made by a vote of 24 of the board members, with Russia abstaining, according to a source familiar with the proceedings.
“Ajay Banga will be a transformative leader, bringing expertise, experience, and innovation to the position of World Bank President,” Biden said in a statement congratulating Banga.
He further said, “He will guide the organization as it develops and grows to address issues such as climate change that directly relate to its fundamental objective of eradicating poverty”.
Since its establishment at the end of World War Two, the World Bank has been led by an American, whereas the International Monetary Fund has been led by a European.
Since 2007, Banga, who was born in India and spent his formative years there, has been a citizen of the United States.