Joe Biden nominates former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to head WB

Joe Biden nominates former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga to head WB

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden nominated former Mastercard Inc (MA.N) CEO Ajay Banga to lead the World Bank, betting the India-born executive’s ties to the private sector and emerging markets will jump-start the 77-year-old institution’s overhaul to better address climate change.

Biden’s nomination on Thursday of Banga, 63, now a US citizen, all but assures he will assume a job that oversees billions of dollars of funding, as it races to help developing countries address climate change.

The World Bank (WB) on Wednesday said it expects to select a new president by early May to replace David Malpass, who announced his resignation last week after months of controversy sparked by his initial refusal to say if he accepted the scientific consensus on climate change, and pressure by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for him to adopt “bolder” reforms.

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“I think the speed of the nomination, less than 48 hours after the WB board launched the process, reflects a desire to discourage any challengers and wrap it up quickly,” said Scott Morris, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and a former U.S. Treasury official.

Biden noted Banga’s decades of experience building global companies and public-private partnerships to fund responses to climate change and migration and said he had a proven track record working with global leaders.

“Ajay is uniquely equipped to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history,” Biden said in a statement, hailing the business executive’s Indian roots and knowledge of the challenges facing developing countries and ability to mobilize private capital to tackle big problems.


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