Ali Zaidi is Of Counsel at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and a leader in its Sustainable Investment and Global Impact Group. Ali focuses his practice on identifying, mitigating, and managing environmental, social, and governance risks. He also counsels clients on complex regulatory matters related to climate change and frontier technologies in energy, water, and mobility, including on standards governing artificial intelligence and autonomous systems like drones and driverless vehicles.

Before starting in private practice, Ali served in the U.S. government for eight years, including as Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy, and Science in the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and, before that, as Deputy Director for Energy Policy in the White House Domestic Policy Council.

In 2014, President Obama appointed Ali 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, Ali served as the OMB’s chief policy official for implementation of the Climate Action Plan, which he helped design and draft. The team Ali led at the White House also oversaw critical aspects of the President’s efforts on conventional and renewable energy, water, infrastructure, and technology, including development of new tax and regulatory policy and management of environmental crises.

Ali is a recognized leader at the intersection of legal, technology, and finance innovation, especially as it relates to energy and climate change. His analysis has been quoted in publications such as the Financial Times, Law360, Bloomberg, and Platts; he has appeared as a presenter, lecturer, or keynote at a number of high-profile industry and academic events; and he teaches on the subject as an adjunct professor at Stanford University and as a non-resident fellow at Columbia University. Ali also served previously on the boards of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Center for Carbon Removal.


Thought Leadership

Speaking Engagements

Duke University Energy Conference 2019, November 6, 2019

Private Equity Breakfast Series: ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance), April 24, 2019


Precourt Energy Scholar, Stanford University

Non-Resident Fellow, Columbia University

30 Under 30: Law and Policy, Forbes Magazine


Admissions & Qualifications

  • District of Columbia


  • Georgetown University Law CenterJ.D.

    Editor, Georgetown Law Journal

  • Harvard CollegeA.B., Government