Ajay Banga, an Indian-American business executive, has officially assumed the role of President of the World Bank. As the first Indian American to lead the organisation, Banga takes on the position during a critical time for humanity and the planet. In an email to staff, he emphasised the need for the World Bank to evolve and address the challenges it faces, particularly in relation to climate change and poverty reduction.
Banga was appointed as the new President of the World Bank for a five-year term after being nominated by US President Joe Biden. He was the sole contender to replace David Malpass, the previous World Bank chief who stepped down prematurely amid concerns about his stance on climate change. With a greater focus on climate adaptation and mitigation, the World Bank aims to tackle intertwined issues such as poverty, development, pandemics, conflict, and fragility.
In his email, Banga highlighted the World Bank’s mandate to address the diverse challenges and strike a balance between global and national needs. He emphasised the importance of embracing risk prudently and pursuing both climate adaptation and mitigation strategies. Banga sees the need for change not as a sign of failure but as an opportunity for growth, vitality, and significance for the World Bank.
Banga, who was born in Pune, India, holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Delhi University and is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. He became a US citizen in 2007 and most recently served as the vice chairman of General Atlantic, a private equity company. With his extensive experience, including his previous role as CEO of MasterCard, Banga brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new position as the President of the World Bank.
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