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Ali Zaidi is engaged in teaching, writing and research at the intersection of policy and technology innovation through Stanford's Precourt Institute for Energy. Ali teaches the course "Engineering Energy Policy Change" with Paul McIntyre, professor of materials science and engineering. Offered during the winter quarter, the course introduces STEM doctoral students at Stanford to energy policy and economics. The course includes case studies, guest lectures, and a student-driven project to design energy policies. Ali also led the formation of the Lawyers for a Sustainable Economy, which connects sustainability-based startups with law firms providing pro bono legal services worth $19.5 million by 2020. It will be facilitated by the Precourt Institute and Stanford Law School.
Previously, Ali served for eight years in the Obama administration. From 2014 to 2017, he was appointed by President Obama to be the associate director for natural resources, energy and science at the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB). In this role, he led a team of policy and budget experts overseeing a wide array of policy, budget and management issues across a nearly $100 billion portfolio and a number of federal agencies.
During his time in Washington, Ali also received a JD from Georgetown Law School. Forbes Magazine included him among its top "30 under 30" in law and policy.