Ali Zaidi is of counsel in the firm’s corporate department. He has extensive experience navigating complex issues relating to climate, energy, and environmental law. Mr. Zaidi also works on integration of sustainability into corporate governance and private investment. He most recently served for eight years in the Obama Administration as the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy, and Science and before that as the White House Domestic Policy Council Deputy Director for Energy Policy.
Mr. Zaidi advises clients on legislation, regulation, litigation, and project development matters, including debt and equity financing. In particular, his practice is focused on clients with interests in the climate, clean energy, advanced transportation, water, and environmental fields - where Mr. Zaidi leverages his extensive experience and keen understanding of related policy, technology, and markets dimensions.
Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, Mr. Zaidi served for eight years in the Obama Administration. In 2014, President Obama appointed Mr. Zaidi as a senior member of the OMB, to lead a team of experts overseeing a wide array of policy, budget, and management issues across a nearly $100 billion portfolio and a number of federal agencies, including the Departments of Energy, Agriculture, and the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works, and the National Science Foundation.
As part of his duties at OMB, Mr. Zaidi served as the agency’s chief policy official for implementation of the Climate Action Plan, which he helped design and draft. Implementation included efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions through policy, technology, and finance innovation; bolster extreme-weather resilience through analysis, disclosure, and mitigation of climate risk; and spur complementary private, philanthropic, subnational, and global climate action through new strategic partnerships. Mr. Zaidi was also a leader on a number of other aspects of the Administration’s economic and environmental policy. The team he led at the White House oversaw critical aspects of the Administration’s efforts on infrastructure, technology, fundamental science, and conservation.
Starting in 2009, Mr. Zaidi served in a number of other roles within the Obama Administration. Before OMB, Zaidi served as the Deputy Director of Energy Policy for the White House Domestic Policy Council. He also formerly served as senior director for Cabinet Affairs at the White House and as a policy aide to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
Mr. Zaidi also serves as Precourt Energy Scholar at Stanford University, where he is engaged in research, writing, and teaching at the interdisciplinary intersection of policy and technology innovation through Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy. Mr. Zaidi has an A.B. and J.D. from Harvard University and Georgetown University, where he was editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.
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