The World Bank Board elected US candidate Ajay Banga as its president

File photo of Ajay Banga in Washington DC in May 2021 (Bloomberg) (Ting Shen /)

The World Bank board of directors, made up of 25 members, elected this Wednesday the Former MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga for a five-year term as president beginning June 2.

Banga, 63, was proposed in late February for the post by US President Joe Biden, and was the only candidate to replace the outgoing head of the World Bank, David Malpass, an economist and former US Treasury official who He worked in the Donald Trump government.

The choice came after World Bank board members interviewed Banga for four hours on Monday.

Malpass’s last day at the bank will be June 1. The decision came in a vote of 24 of the board members, with Russia abstaining, instead of the usual consensus-based process, said a source familiar with the process.

Sources familiar with the process expected Banga to win the board’s approval easily after several meetings with its members in recent weeks and the formal interview on Monday.

One of the sources described Banga as a “genuine changemaker” who will help speed up reforms in the state. The bank already lends hundreds of billions of dollars to developing countries, but is working to increase its lending to help them tackle global challenges like climate change.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the news agency Reuters last month that attract more private capital for development goals would be a key area of ​​focus for Banga if approved.

The World Bank has been run by an American since its founding at the end of World War II, while the International Monetary Fund has been run by a European. Banga, who was born in India and spent his professional career there, has been a US citizen since 2007.


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