Ali Zaidi

Deputy National Climate Advisor

  • Assisted in drafting and implementing the groundbreaking Climate Action Plan and helped negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement
  • Former Office of Management and Budget and White House Domestic Policy Council official during the Obama-Biden Administration
  • Currently serves as New York’s Deputy Secretary for Energy and Environment

Ali Zaidi currently serves the state of New York as Deputy Secretary to the Governor for Energy and Environment and Chairman of Climate Policy and Finance, and leads the state’s efforts on climate change — driving investment into infrastructure and innovation, empowering workers and communities, and boosting economic and environmental resilience. An adjunct professor at Stanford University — where he has taught graduate courses on technology policy and studied the fiscal and financial impacts of climate change — Zaidi co-founded Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy, a Stanford-coordinated initiative that equips sustainability-focused startups with pro bono legal services.

A longtime advisor to President-elect Biden on climate matters, Zaidi brings the cross-sector and multi-disciplinary experience needed to deliver a whole-of-government response to the climate crisis. During the Obama-Biden Administration, Zaidi served as Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy, and Science for the Office of Management and Budget and as Deputy Director of Energy Policy for the Domestic Policy Council —  helping to design and implement a wide range of domestic and international policies. Zaidi has advised non-profits, including as a Trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and counseled the private sector, as an attorney who helped launch a sustainable investment practice. 

Zaidi immigrated from Pakistan and grew up outside Erie, Pennsylvania. He received an A.B. from Harvard University and J.D. from Georgetown University.

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