With Ajay Banga's nomination, top World Bank positions are now held by Sikhs

President Joe Biden announced that the US is nominating Ajay Banga to lead the World Bank, saying the business leader is uniquely equipped to lead the global institution

Ajay Banga
Ajay Banga

NH Digital

With US President Joe Biden nominating Indian American Ajay Banga, the former CEO of Mastercard, to head the World Bank, the top posts in the global financial institution will be held by Sikhs.

Before Banga the World Bank already had a Sikh in a top post, with Indermit Singh Gill as its Chief Economist.

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.

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, Banga 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.

Political leaders and industry captains on Friday hailed Indian American Ajay Banga's nomination as World Bank president, saying he is an inspired choice and a phenomenal addition to the list of Indian-origin leaders at the helm of globally impactful organisations.

"Happy to hear that Ajay Banga, who I have known for many yrs, has been nominated as a candidate to lead @WorldBank. His exec leadership skills & drive for innovation are well known. But even more so I admire his commitment to sustainable devt, to do good & help those most in need," tweeted IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva.

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that the US is nominating Banga to lead the World Bank, saying the business leader is uniquely equipped to lead the global institution at "this critical moment in history."

Applauding the decision, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Banga has the right leadership and management skills, experience in emerging markets, and financial expertise to lead the World Bank at a critical moment in its history.

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