Joe Biden Nominates Ajay Banga to Lead World Bank Amid Push for Reforms

President Joe Biden has announced his intention to nominate Ajay Banga, the former president and CEO of Mastercard, to serve as president of the World Bank.[0] The move is seen as a swift response to fill a vacancy atop the international organization, which the U.S. is pushing to overhaul.

Banga, 63, is an Indian-American who currently serves as the vice chairman at equity firm General Atlantic.[1] He also served as Mastercard’s executive chairman, after having previously served as the company’s CEO from 2010 to 2021.[0]

John Kerry, the U.S. climate envoy, stated that choosing Banga was the correct decision due to his established credentials in climate change.[2] He has the right leadership and management skills, experience living and working in emerging markets, and financial expertise to lead the World Bank at a critical moment in its history, deliver on its core development goals, and evolve the Bank to meet global challenges like climate change, said Kerry in a statement.[1]

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen echoed the sentiment in her own statement, saying “Ajay is uniquely equipped to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history.[3] His accomplishments include a history of successfully managing personnel and systems, as well as collaborating with international authorities to achieve desired outcomes.[4]

Banga will replace previous president David Malpass, who announced last week that he’s stepping down a year early — serving four years of a five-year term.[5] Malpass had been praised by the World Bank and administration officials for his handling of the global challenges posed by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic, but his tenure faced controversy following comments he made last September about climate change.[1] Due to an abundance of criticism, numerous detractors demanded his resignation.[6]

At a pivotal juncture, the incoming head of the World Bank will be tasked with responding to the surging demand for the overhaul of multilateral development banks and international financial organizations, with an eye to enabling more climate finance for countries in the developing world.[2] Janet Yellen is urging the World Bank to move away from its customary attention to providing loans to individual countries, and instead focus on broader, global matters such as combatting climate change.[2]

However, some progressives are goading other countries to advance credible challengers for the post.[2] The U.S. is the bank's largest shareholder and has traditionally been allowed to choose the head of the World Bank, deferring to Europe to select a boss for the International Monetary Fund.[7]

0. “Biden to Nominate Former Mastercard Executive Ajay Banga to Lead World Bank” The Wall Street Journal, 23 Feb. 2023,

1. “Biden nominates former MasterCard executive to lead World Bank” WTAE Pittsburgh, 23 Feb. 2023,

2. “Activists Blast Biden's Pick of a Wall Street Insider for World Bank President” Yahoo! Voices, 23 Feb. 2023,

3. “Biden nominates former MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga to head World Bank” CNBC, 23 Feb. 2023,

4. “President Biden nominates General Atlantic's Ajay Banga to lead World Bank” UPI News, 23 Feb. 2023,

5. “US puts forward Ajay Banga to lead World Bank” BBC, 23 Feb. 2023,

6. “Biden nominates former MasterCard exec Ajay Banga to lead World Bank” CNN, 23 Feb. 2023,

7. “Biden taps former Mastercard CEO Banga to head World Bank” POLITICO, 23 Feb. 2023,

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