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Joe Biden appoints Pakistan-born Ali Zaidi as deputy national climate advisor

Ali Zaidi Biden

US President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday announced the appointment of Gina McCarthy as his National Climate Advisor and Pakistani-American Ali Zaidi as his Deputy National Climate Advisor.

The newly elected President Joe Biden’s team released a statement that Ali Zaidi is a well-known environment expert and a long-time advisor to the President elect.

Furthermore, the statement also reads that “Ali Zaidi carries cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary experience required to deliver a complete government response to the climate crisis”.

“With a cohesive national response anchored in science and equity, this talented, experienced, visionary team will be ready on day one to tackle the unprecedented threat of climate change,” Biden said in a statement.

Zaidi in past helped to prepare and execute the Climate Action Plan of the Obama-Biden Administration and to negotiate the Paris Climate Agreement, the statement added.

In the Biden-Harris administration, Ali Zaidi is the highest-ranking Pakistani-American. Zaidi currently assists as the Deputy Secretary for Energy and Environment for New York, leading the state’s climate change efforts.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, Zaidi said he was “profoundly humbled” and “deeply honoured” by the nomination, adding that to take on the climate crisis, “a whole-of-government approach” is required.

Ali Zaidi, 33 years old Pakistani born American, immigrated from Pakistan to Pennsylvania and grew up there. He studied at Harvard University and at the University of Georgetown. He is an Associate Professor at Stanford University, where he has taught technology policy graduate courses and investigated the fiscal and financial effects of climate change.

Zaidi co-founded the first-of-a-kind project to associate sustainability-focused startups with pro bono legal services labeled as Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy.

During 2009-2017, Ali Zaidi served in the Obama-Biden Administration in key economic and environmental policy positions for eight years.

As Chief Policy Officer of the White House Office of Management and Budget in 2014, he helped develop and draft the Climate Action Plan and was part of the team that signed the revolutionary Paris agreement on climate change.

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