The US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) has welcomed the nomination of Indian-American Ajay Banga as the World Bank president, calling it a proud chapter in the success stories of the Indian-American diaspora.
If confirmed by the World Bank Board, Banga will be the first person of Indian descent and first Sikh-American to head the multilateral institution.
“It’s another proud chapter in the success stories of the Indian-American diaspora, and I wish Ajay all the best for this new inning” said USISPF President and CEO, Mukesh Aghi.
The USISPF, an independent not-for-profit institution dedicated to strengthening the US-India partnership, said Banga’s deep expertise and several years of experience in the fields of financial inclusion, public-private partnerships, and climate finance make him a phenomenal leader to head the Bank.
“Ajay’s background in his early years in India, gives him a deep understanding of the emerging market world and bridging the gaps in gender parity and working towards poverty alleviation, issues at the core ethos of the Bank’s mission,” Aghi said in a statement.
A tireless believer in both the strength of US-India ties and strengthening the relationship even further, Banga is also a founding trustee of USISPF.
The former Mastercard CEO has been instrumental in setting up USISPF as a founding board member and a vital pillar in USISPF’s success over the last five years.
Banga’s work with Citigroup, Mastercard, General Atlantic, and USISPF will allow for a seamless transition to mobilising resources in public-private partnerships to tackle issues on climate, water resources, food security, and healthcare, the USISPF said in a statement.
Banga, who was born in India and studied at Delhi’s St Stephen’s College, currently serves as vice chairman at General Atlantic.
While announcing his nomination on Thursday, the White House said that over the course of his career, Banga has become a global leader in technology, data, financial services and innovating for inclusion.
Banga was awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal in 2012, the Padma Shri Award by India in 2016, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Business Council for International Understanding’s Global Leadership Award in 2019, and the Distinguished Friends of Singapore Public Service Star in 2021. (IANS)
With US President Joe Biden nominating Ajay Banga, the former Indian American head of Mastercard, to head the World Bank, the top posts in the global financial institution will be held by Sikhs.
Before Banga, who is slated to take up job – which, by convention, been reserved for a US citizen – this May, the World Bank already as a Sikh in a top post, with Indermit Singh Gill its Chief Economist.
He is primarily known for pioneering the concept of the “middle-income trap” to describe how countries stagnate after reaching a certain level of income.
Gill, an Indian citizen, studied at St Paul’s School, Darjeeling and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi – where he was probably just a year (or perhaps two) junior to Banga.
Like Banga, Gill is also the son of a senior Indian Army officer.
Before taking over Chief Economist on September 1, 2022, Gill served as the World Bank’s Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions, where he played a key role in shaping its response to the extraordinary series of shocks that have hit developing economies since 2020. Between 2016 and 2021, he was a professor of public policy at Duke University and non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Global Economy and Development program.
Widely regarded for his contributions to development economics, Gill spearheaded the influential 2009 World Development Report on economic geography, as per his World Bank profile. He has published extensively on key policy issues facing developing countries, among other things, sovereign debt vulnerabilities, green growth and natural-resource wealth, labour markets, and poverty and inequality.
Gill has also taught at Georgetown University and the University of Chicago. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago
Biden’s nomination of Banga follows his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama nominating Korean-American ‘Jim’ Yong Kim for World Bank chief to ensure that the World Bank is headed by someone with a developing-country background
Biden was then Vice President.
If confirmed by the World Bank Board, Bang will be the first person of Indian descent to head the World Bank. He will succeed David Malpass, who was appointed to head the bank by then President Donald Trump. (IANS)