Banga, who was born in Pune cantonment (Khadki) and whose father Harbhajan Singh Banga is a retired lieutenant-general who served in the Indian Army, will succeed David Malpass, who announced earlier this month that he intends to resign four years into his five-year term.
Malpass was nominated to the position by President Trump. The World Bank president, by convention, is an American nominee.
“Ajay is uniquely equipped to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history. 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. He has a proven track record managing people and systems, and partnering with global leaders around the world to deliver results,” Biden said in a statement.
Banga, 63, also has critical experience mobilizing public-private resources to tackle the most urgent challenges of our time, including climate change, Biden added, noting that he was raised in India and therefore “has a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing developing countries and how the World Bank can deliver on its ambitious agenda to reduce poverty and expand prosperity.”
Banga went to school in Hyderabad, India and graduated from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi before earning a management degree from IIM, Ahmedabad. He began his professional career in Nestle, moved to Pepsico and later Citi, before topping a corporate career when he became CEO of Mastercard in 2010, holding the position till 2020. He is currently vice-chairman at General Atlantic.
The White House statement announcing his nomination noted that he has previously served on the Boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods and Dow Inc, and worked closely with Vice President Harris as the Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America. He is also a member of the Trilateral Commission, a founding trustee of the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum, a former member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and Chairman Emeritus of the American India Foundation.