WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday said she expected the U.S. nominee to head the World Bank, former Mastercard (MA.N) CEO Ajay Banga, to be elected as president of the multilateral development bank.
In testimony prepared for the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Yellen said Banga would be charged with helping evolve the institution to better address new challenges.
“This evolution will help the Bank deliver on its vital poverty alleviation and development goals,” Yellen will tell lawmakers who control the Treasury Department’s purse strings.
Banga, 63, recently completed a three-week world tour to meet government leaders, civil society groups and others in borrowing and donor countries as he campaigned for the bank’s top post.
President Joe Biden nominated the Indian-born finance and development executive, who is a U.S. citizen, for the post in late February.
He has won the support of enough other governments to virtually assure his confirmation as World Bank president, including India, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and South Korea.
The World Bank will accept nominations from other countries until March 29, but no competitors have been announced. The World Bank has been led by an American since its founding at the end of World War Two, while the International Monetary Fund has been led by a European.
The bank’s board has said it hopes to elect a new leader by early May.
The bank’s current president, David Malpass, was nominated by former President Donald Trump. He announced his resignation in February after months of controversy over his initial failure to say he backed the scientific consensus on climate change.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal. Editing by Gerry Doyle
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.