Banga’s selection was not unanimous. Russia, which had previously said it was considering submitting its own candidate for the job but ultimately did not, abstained in the vote, a person familiar with the selection process said. A senior administration official said the board’s votes are «strictly confidential» but that Banga was «elected with resounding approval.»

The position of president of the World Bank traditionally falls to a US citizen. Banga has US citizenship but was born and raised in India.

Banga will now oversee the World Bank’s pivot on its goal of become a dominant player in climate finance and help low-income economies finance the transition to cleaner energy sources and manufacturing processes.

But those priorities will cost trillions of dollars that shareholders like the US and the European Union are not willing to spend right now. In addition, the bank must also grapple with other pressing needs facing the world’s poorest countries, including growing food insecurity and unsustainable levels of debt.

“Ajay understands that the challenges we face, from combating climate change, pandemics and fragility to eliminating extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity, are deeply intertwined,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

The bank has begun adopting reforms that will «refine» its mission, Yellen continued, adding that «our ambitious goals will not be met overnight, and we remain committed to a phased adoption of reforms throughout the year to build on the vision. we have arranged”.

The White House recognizes that the World Bank faces a crucial moment as countries grapple with worrying levels of debt and the global economy continues to grapple with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine, it told reporters on Wednesday. a second senior administration official.

“Getting the development right from the World Bank is absolutely critical to getting to the moment,” the second official said, adding that Biden believes Banga “has the track record and knowledge to rise to the occasion and make sure the Bank World Cup meets the requirements. the world.»

Banga was Chairman and CEO of credit card giant Mastercard from 2010 to 2020 and remained the company’s CEO for a year after that. He left to join General Atlantic, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, where he served as vice president.

The current president of the World Bank, David Malpass, announced earlier this year that he would step down in June. Malpass was nominated by then-President Donald Trump in 2019 and selected for a five-year term.

Adam Behsudi contributed to this report.