Last updated on March 6th, 2023 at 05:09 pm
Former MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, US Vice President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the World Bank, met with executive directors on March 1 as part of a “charm offensive” to secure the position, according to three persons familiar with the situation.
Biden selected the 63-year-old Indian-born business executive to lead the global development bank and jumpstart the 77-year-old institution’s revamp to better handle climate change last week.
Biden’s nomination of Banga, who is now a US citizen, virtually guarantees he will accept a position overseeing billions of dollars in financing to assist developing countries, barring any last-minute opposition.
Adriana Kugler, the Senate-confirmed US executive director of the World Bank, hosted a casual “meet and greet” for Banga during which he and other executive directors discussed “efficiency, efficacy, and the impact of the bank’s operations,” according to one of the individuals.
Directors valued Banga’s management and leadership skills, as well as his willingness to engage in open dialogue, according to the source.
Janet Yellen, the secretary of the United States Treasury, remarked that she was delighted with the positive feedback from Group of 20 finance officials so far for Banga, who has received accolades for his work reforming Mastercard and helping people out of poverty in underdeveloped nations.
Being the World Bank’s largest shareholder with 16,35% of its voting power, the United States has considerable influence over the bank’s policies, and the lender’s president collaborates closely with the Treasury Department.
The fast selection of Biden, however, has garnered criticism from non-profit organizations that had urged member nations to select a president from an emerging market. Others have advocated for the bank’s first female president in its 77-year history.
The World Bank declined to comment on Banga’s meetings because the nomination process continues until March 29 and other candidates may still be proposed by other member nations.
According to one source, no more nominations have been made thus far.