In a statement, Biden highlighted Banga’s experience forging partnerships to address financial inclusion and climate change.
“He has spent more than three decades building and managing successful, global companies that create jobs and bring investment to developing economies, and guiding organizations through periods of fundamental change,” Biden said. “He also has critical experience mobilizing public-private resources to tackle the most urgent challenges of our time, including climate change.”
Malpass had drawn criticism for an alleged lack of focus on the bank’s climate mission.
In September, when asked at a New York Times event if he accepted the idea that burning fossil fuels caused global temperatures to rise, he equivocated, saying, “I’m not a scientist.” He told The Washington Post he was “leaving on his own terms” despite the controversy.
Pointing to his upbringing in India and his work in the global South, administration officials emphasized Banga’s long experience mobilizing capital while ensuring that related projects do not boost emissions.
The decision may disappoint some who had hoped the bank would have a female leader for the first time in its history. Asked about the decision to appoint a man, an administration official said Banga has a clear record of bringing “gender equality and inclusion” to his work.
Jeff Stein contributed reporting.
This is a developing story and will be updated.