Nandita Bakhshi has devoted her career to inclusive, transformational, and forwardlooking leadership while consistently delivering operational excellence and tangible results. She is a champion for diversity and gender equality, having risen through adversity as an immigrant and part-time bank teller to become one of few women CEOs of a major bank in the U.S.
As the CEO of Bank of the West, Nandita led a digital transformation that turned the company into one of the leading sustainable banks in the US while improving profitability, efficiency and customer satisfaction- culminating in a successful acquisition by The Bank of Montreal/BMO Harris.
Nandita has a proven record of innovative thought leadership on Environmental, Social and Governance issues. Under Nandita’s leadership, Bank of the West had among the strongest environmental policies of any major U.S. bank, and became one of the nation’s best employers for women, diversity, and LGBTQ equality, with recognition by Forbes, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI), and Fast Company, among others.
In an industry where very few bank CEOs worldwide are women, Nandita has been a recognized leader. She was included on Barron’s list of the 100 Most Influential Women in U.S. Finance, Forbes’ inaugural 50 over 50 list, and American Banker has named her one of the top Most Powerful Women in Banking for the past several years. The San Francisco Business Times also recognized her as one of the Most Admired CEOs in 2020, and one of the Most Influential Business Leaders in the Bay Area in 2023.
In 2021, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco appointed Nandita to represent the 12th District on the Federal Advisory Council. She also serves on the Board of Directors of BMO Financial Corp; Grameen America; the Supervisory Board of The Clearing House; the Board of Directors of the U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF). She is also a member of the Pacific Bankers Management Institute Board of Directors at the Pacific Coast Banking School (PCBS) and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Nandita started her banking career as a part-time teller at a regional bank in upstate New York. During her more than 30-year career, she spearheaded innovations in digital channels, mobile payments, and contactless and voice-enabled technology as a senior executive at major financial organizations including TD Bank, Washington Mutual in Seattle (acquired by JPMorgan Chase), FleetBoston (acquired by Bank of America), and First Data (acquired by Fiserv).
Nandita holds a Master of Arts in international relations from Jadavpur University and a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Calcutta.