Mr. Zaidi will help clients manage the opportunities and risks associated with changing clean energy, infrastructure, and environmental policy, technology, and markets
Morrison & Foerster, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce that Ali A. Zaidi, who recently served 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 (DPC) Deputy Director for Energy Policy, has joined the firm as a Senior Advisor. Based in Washington, D.C., and working closely with the San Francisco and New York offices of the firm, Mr. Zaidi will assist Morrison & Foerster lawyers advising on legislation, regulation, litigation, and project development matters related to climate change, clean energy, transportation, water, and environmental policy, technology, and markets.
“The clean energy revolution is delivering enormous economic and environmental benefits in the United States and around the world. Ali will help us advise our clients on all facets of the move toward a clean energy economy and on how to strategically address any changes in policy or regulation that may impact that trend,” Chris Carr, chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Environment and Energy Group, said. “Ali was on point for implementing key elements of the Climate Action Plan, and he is steeped in the complex, cross-sectoral issues surrounding clean energy policy, technology, and markets. So he has exactly the right experience and expertise that our clients need to navigate any regulatory changes and advance their interests.”
Susan Mac Cormac, co-chair of the firm’s Energy and Clean Technology Groups, added: “We will benefit from Ali’s advice and insights on novel and important climate issues, for instance, climate risk accounting and mitigation as they relate to projects, companies, and markets, and burgeoning climate solutions like water technology and resilient infrastructure.”
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. For this work, Forbes named Mr. Zaidi among its 30 Under 30 in Law and Policy.
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.
“I decided on Morrison & Foerster because it is uniquely positioned to help clients adapt to and address the challenges that come with advancing clean energy and innovative water technology and tackling climate change. The firm has market-leading expertise at the intersection of policy, technology, and finance, and has a well-deserved reputation for representing companies that are policy, technology, and finance innovators and disruptors,” Mr. Zaidi said. “I look forward to helping MoFo attorneys advise clients on these critical matters at a time of increased uncertainty.”
Mr. Zaidi currently 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.