Big Corporate Leadership Will Not Save Us

February 24, 2023

I was disappointed, on multiple levels, to hear about the Biden administration’s nomination of Ajay Banga, a private equity executive with no experience in public service, to head the World Bank. 

First, the U.S. should have no real right to unilaterally name the World Bank President – it does so through an archaic gentleman’s agreement” with the EU that is transparently unfair to the Global South. It is high time for an open recruitment process that is not based on the “privilege” of being a U.S. citizen. 

Second, Banga is a private equity executive with no experience in public service. Indeed, his corporate experience has been the kind of inequality-driving, climate-destroying hyper-capitalism that is everything the World Bank should be standing against if it wants to genuinely aim to end global poverty.

According to Axios:

“Banga has done everything from introducing the Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises to India to managing Citigroup’s overseas credit card operations.”

It’s quite telling that “everything” does not include much to do with addressing global inequality or injustice – which is what the next World Bank President must be tasked with doing.