US President Joe Biden has nominated Ajay Banga, former CEO of credit card company MasterCard, as the new head of the World Bank. Last week, current World Bank President David Malpass unexpectedly announced that he was stepping down from his post.
Banga has built and operated successful global job-creating companies for more than three decades. He has led investments in emerging economies and led organizations through periods of fundamental change, Biden said in a statement Thursday.
The 63-year-old Banga is currently the vice president of the US investment firm General Atlantic LP. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Mastercard for ten years. He also held various positions at Citigroup Banking Group.
Final selection of candidates is not expected until early May. Although other countries can also nominate a director, the United States traditionally determines who will lead the World Bank. The country is the largest contributor.
Malpass was appointed by former US President Donald Trump at the time. He will step down at the end of June, after more than four years at the helm of the world’s largest institute for development cooperation. It is not clear why he left before the end of his five-year term. The bank announced last week that Malpass wants to “take on new challenges”.
Last fall, he came under fire from the White House after he refused to say he supported the scientific consensus on climate change. He later apologized for this.
The World Bank provides loans to developing and middle-income countries, with the main goal of fighting poverty. The credits are used, among other things, to reform the countries’ health and education sectors and infrastructure projects. According to the bank’s annual report, the World Bank allocated more than $104 billion to projects around the world last year.
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