Ajay Banga

Board Member Emeritus
President, World Bank

Ajay Banga is one of the founding board members of The HOW Institute for Society. He was appointed President of the World Bank in 2023 and is now a Board Member Emeritus. Prior to his selection to lead the World Bank, Ajay served as Vice Chairman of General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm. Previously, Ajay was Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman of Mastercard for a combined 12 years.

Under Ajay’s leadership, MasterCard launched the Center for Inclusive Growth, which advances equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. He was Honorary Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, serving as Chairman from 2020-2022. He became an advisor to General Atlantic’s climate-focused fund, BeyondNetZero, at its inception in 2021. Ajay served as Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America, a coalition of private organizations that works to advance economic opportunity across underserved populations in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. He was previously on the Boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods, and Dow Inc.

Ajay Banga is a co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute and was Vice Chair of the Economic Club of New York. He was awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal in 2012, the Padma Shri Award by the President of 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.

Prior to Mastercard, Ajay served as chief executive officer of Citigroup Asia Pacific. During his career at Citigroup, he held a variety of senior management roles in the United States, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa. He also oversaw the company’s efforts in microfinance. 

Ajay began his career at Nestlé, India, where for 13 years he worked on assignments spanning sales, marketing and general management. He also spent two years with PepsiCo, where he was instrumental in launching its fast food franchises in India as the economy liberalized. 

He is a graduate of Delhi University and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

While he was the CEO of Mastercard, Ajay initiated a supportive partnership with The HOW Institute. To date, more than 100 Mastercard employees have participated in The HOW Institute’s NXT-GEN Fellowship for Moral Leadership.

“Decency is the foundation for the kinds of relationships that drive respect, innovation, urgency and enterprise-wide thinking. It’s what supports and inspires people to believe that they can trust you and that you will have your hand on their back and not in their face.  This lets them know that they can bring their full hearts and minds to all that they do.”