Global governance

ICC elects Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga as new Chair

  • 23 June 2020

ICC has elected MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga as Chair. 

Mr Banga, who has served as ICC’s First Vice-Chair since June 2018, becomes ICC Chair with immediate effect, succeeding Paul Polman who becomes ICC Honorary Chair, having served as Chair for the past two years.

The election of Mr Banga during the ICC World Council, held annually, also confirmed Maria Fernanda Garza, CEO of Orestia and current Board member, as ICC First Vice-Chair – making her the first woman to hold this position.

Seven members have also been elected to the ICC Executive Board, strengthening leadership at ICC with augmented geographic, ethnic and gender diversity.

Prior to joining Mastercard, Mr Banga served as Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup Asia Pacific. He served as a member of United States’ President Barack Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity and a past member of Mr Obama’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. Mr Banga is also a member of the board of overseers of the Weill Cornell Medical College, and a director of Dow Inc. as well as a member of its compensation and governance committees.

Mr Banga said:

“I am delighted to step into the role of ICC Chair, taking over from my friend Paul Polman. In this challenging time, I intend to build on the work underway at ICC and to ensure that the organisation, on behalf of business globally, continues to lead in promoting greater prosperity and opportunity for all, which includes being a crucial voice in the re-building of a sustainable and inclusive global economy.”

Maria Fernanda Garza
ICC First Vice-Chair

Ms Garza has served as an ICC Executive Board member since 2014 and is the ICC Regional Coordinator for the Americas and a member of the governing body of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. A strong advocate of business ethics and corporate governance standards, Ms Garza was Chair of ICC Mexico until June 2020 and is a former member of the International Affairs Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Labour and former member of the National Advisory Committee of ACLAN. Ms Garza was Vice-President of the Confederation of Employers of the Mexican Republic (Coparmex) and was also a member of the Compliance Committee of Infonavit. She is a Board Member of the Corporate Responsibility Alliance AliaRSE and was a member of the Corporate Responsibility Network of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD.

Paul Polman
ICC Honorary Chair  

Paul Polman, former CEO of consumer goods company Unilever and CEO and Chairman of IMAGINE, is a leading advocate for the role of business in driving progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Among key activities undertaken during his tenure as ICC Chair, Mr Polman led an ICC delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in 2019 and the Climate Action Summit, underscoring the imperative that sustainable development calls for greater ambition by world leaders and an alignment of policy frameworks to scale up solutions and enable businesses to place the SDGs at the core of their operations.  

Earlier this year he led an ICC roundtable with Roberto Azevedo, World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General, on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos to discuss the nexus between trade and climate policies. At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Polman led ICC’s call for G20 leaders to agree on coordinated steps to: ensure access to essential medical supplies; scale public health financing to tackle COVID-19; and restore confidence and stability in the global economy. 

Mr Denton said: 

“ICC thanks Paul for his deep commitment to our global institution. Under his leadership we have made great strides in securing business commitment to drive long-term sustainable growth and development as well as ICC’s own sustainability objectives in line with global goals.” 

Chairmanship and Executive Board composition 

The 2020 meeting of the ICC World Council also confirmed new members of the ICC Executive Board, making the composition of ICC’s leadership the most diverse to date in terms of gender and regional balance.

The following, newly elected Board members will begin two-year terms on 1 July 2020: 

Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammad Al-Thani (Qatar) 

HE Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al-Thani, a prominent member of the ruling family in the State of Qatar, has been Chair of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry since May 2006. He has held several senior government positions and currently heads the Competition Protection and Anti-Monopoly Committee of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He is Chairman of Al Dar Exchange Company; First Vice-Chairman of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce; Vice-Chairman of Doha Insurance Company; Active Board Member of several Arab-Foreign Joint Chambers of Commerce and the Union of Arab Chambers; and an Executive Committee member of the Union of Arab Chambers. He also chaired the Federation of Gulf Chambers of Commerce (FGCCC) from 2014-2016.

Sheikh Khalifa is Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce Qatar and is recognised widely for his efforts in promoting open trade and investment. In March 2017, he was awarded the ICC ‘Merchant of Peace’ award, in recognition of the role he played in the creation of the ICC and QCCI World Trade Agenda Initiative. HE Sheikh Khalifa also hosted the 8th World Chambers Congress in 2013 in Doha. 

Sebastian Escarrer (Spain)

Sebastian Escarrer is Chairman of ICC Spain, and served as CEO and ViceChairman of Melia Hotels International for 19 years. He is also a member of the Premium Brands Fund Advisory Board of the Swiss bank Pictet and a member of the Caixabank Advisory Board in the Balearic Islands. Mr Escarrer has served as a member of the Wharton Board of Overseers since 2013 and served as Chairman of the Wharton EMEA Board (Europe, Africa and the Middle East) from 2009-2015.

He is Chairman of APD Illes Balears and Vice-Chairman of the Spanish National Board. He was Chairman of Exceltur – the Spanish Tourist Lobby – between 2012 and 2016, and was Vice-President of the Council of Tourism of the CEOE. . Mr Escarrer is an active member of several Foundations, including the “SERES Foundation” and the Princesa de Girona Foundation.

Mr Escarrer is also a member of the ICC Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-Corruption and the Policy and Commissions Committee of the ICC Executive Board. He has received numerous awards for his career in the tourism and financial sectors, including his election by the World Economic Forum as one of the 100 leading businessmen of the 21st century. In 2018 he received the ICC Merchant of Peace award.

Dario Gallina (Italy) 

Mr Gallina is President of the Torino Chamber of Commerce and CEO of Doctor Gallina srl, a family-owned company specialising in the production of polycarbonate systems and sheets for the construction industry. He began his career as Vice-President of the Youth Group from 2004-2007 and since 2007, has been President of the Plastics Category. Mr Gallina is a member of the General Council of the Plastic Rubber Federation and Unionplast, the national trade association. 

From 2012 to 2014 he was a member of the Steering Committee of the EUC (European Plastic Converters) and was President of Piccolindustria at the Union of Torino from 2013-2016. He is a member of the General Council of Confindustria.  

Shinta Kamdani (Indonesia) 

Owner and Chief Executive Officer of the Sintesa Group, an Indonesian group with 16 subsidiaries operating in Property, Energy, Industrial Products, and Consumer Products. Ms Kamdani is Vice-Chair of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN Indonesia) and the Employers’ Association of Indonesia (APINDO), as well as President of Indonesia Business Council for Sustainable Development (IBCSD). She is the founder of Angel Investment Network Indonesia (ANGIN), Chairwoman of Indonesia Business Coalition on Women Empowerment, and serves as an International Board Member of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Ms Mamdani is also a member of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Indonesia.  

Among numerous accolades, Ms Kamdani has been listed among Forbes Asia’s 50 Powerful Businesswomen and named Asia’s Leading Businesswoman of the Year Award from Women in Leadership Forum (2013), Women Entrepreneur of the Year from Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (2014), Women of Power from Asian Business Leadership Forum (ABLF) Abu Dhabi (2012), 30 Best CEOs by Business Indonesia Award in 2015. In 2017, Ms Kamdani was awarded the Commander of the Polar Star by the King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and the Commander of the Order of Leopold of Belgium.  

Valentina Mintah (Ghana) 

Valentina Mintah is a Ghanaian-British technology executive, internationally recognised for her expertise in trade facilitation and process automation. She is the founder and former CEO of West Blue Consulting, an award-winning ICT organisation based in West Africa.  

Ms Mintah has considerable experience working with bilateral and multilateral donors and agencies, including the UK’s Department for International Development, the EU, the World Bank, the IMF, USAID, the Asian Development Bank, the German Agency for International Cooperation, and the UN, for whom she was a contributing expert for the UN/CEFACT Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide published in 2012. She has been recognised for the economic impact of West Blue Consulting’s technology solutions by ICC, the IMF and the World Customs Organisation.  

Prior to establishing West Blue Consulting, Ms Mintah was a Senior Solutions Specialist at Crown Agents in the UK, having previously worked at IBM. She is also a founding member of the African Performance Institute, an organisation that promotes the advancement of e-commerce and e-government in Africa. In 2019, Ms Mintah founded e-Ananse, a UNESCO-backed network of libraries providing young people access to high-quality, contemporary literature.  

Takeshi Niinami (Japan)

Tak Niinami is the Chief Executive Officer of Suntory Holdings, a leading consumer products companies with operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania. Prior to joining Suntory in 2014, Mr Niinami served as CEO of Lawson, Inc., which he grew into one of Asia’s major convenience store operators. Outside of Suntory, he is a member of the Council on Social Security Reform for All Generations and has served on the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy as senior economic advisor to the Prime Minister since 2014. He is also Vice-Chair of the Board of Councillors of Keidanren – Japan Business Foundation, and Vice-Chair of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives. Mr Niinami is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council, the Advisory Board of the World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution,the Global Board of Advisors of the Council on Foreign Relations and The Business Council in the US.

Jane Sun (China)

CEO and member of the board of directors of CTrip (now, since November 2016, Ms Sun has extensive experience in operating and managing online travel businesses, mergers and acquisitions, and financial reporting and operations. Prior to joining Ctrip, Ms Sun worked as the head of the SEC and External Reporting Division of Applied Materials, Inc. since 1997. Prior to that, she worked with KPMG LLP as an audit manager in Silicon Valley, California for five years. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a State of California Certified Public Accountant.  

Ms Sun’s numerus recognitions include being named by Forbes China as one of the most influential and outstanding business women, Fortune’s Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, and one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business and was awarded Best CEO and Best CFO awards from Institutional Investor.  

Patrick Obath (Kenya) and Harsh Pati Singhania (India) were also re-elected to serve second terms on the Executive Board

View the ICC leadership here.