President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the U.S. would nominate former MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga to be the next president of the World Bank.
The previous World Bank president, Trump-appointee David Malpass announced eight days earlier that he would step down from his post several months early, on June 30. Following Malpass’ resignation, the White House reportedly planned to nominate a candidate that would shift the bank’s focus from alleviating poverty to climate change goals.
“Ajay is uniquely equipped to lead the World Bank at this critical moment in history,” said President Joe Biden. “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.”
David Malpass is married to Daily Caller News Foundation president Adele Malpass.
— Emilie Simons (@EmilieSimons46) February 23, 2023
Banga led Mastercard through a significant expansion in market capitalization, introducing a variety of payment technologies to a company that had previously focused on cards, The Wall Street Journal reported. He has connections to prominent Democrats, having served as an advisor to the U.S. trade representative under President Barack Obama and advising Vice President Kamala Harris on El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Banga lacks a significant history with climate change issues, which may be cause for disappointment from climate activists who were hoping for the administration to nominate an aggressive candidate, The New York Times reported. Banga described climate change as a challenge of “humanity versus nature” and requiring trade-offs, at a 2021 event at the Council on Foreign Relations.
“You end up applying what are shorter-term solutions to what are very long-term problems,” Banga said at the event, according to the NYT. “And therefore you end up putting a band-aid on an open wound.”
Some developing nations have expressed concerns with a potential shift in focus from poverty to climate change, and Banga’s nomination could help quell those concerns, the Financial Times reported. Banga was raised in India, and his father was a general in the Indian army, the NYT reported.
The World Bank is planning to officially approve a leader in early May, the WSJ reported.
General Atlantic did not immediately respond to a Daily Caller News Foundation request for comment.
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