Pakistan-born American Muslim Ali A Zaidi has been chosen to serve as White House’s Deputy National Climate Advisor in the Biden-Harris administration.
If approved, Zaidi, a former Edinboro resident, will become the highest-ranking Pakistani-origin White House official under the Biden-Harris government so far, Georie reported.
A statement issued on Biden-Harris Transition website said Zaidi will be part of the team that advances the president-elect’s “agenda leading the world to confront the climate crisis — creating good-paying jobs, building resilient communities, and making historic investments in environmental justice”.
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Zaidi moved with his parents from Pakistan to Edinboro in 1993, when he was 5 years old.
He received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Zaidi, who currently serves as the deputy secretary to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for energy and environment and as the chairman of climate policy and finance for the state, welcomed the appointment.
“We need a whole-of-government approach to take on the climate crisis — in a way that spurs jobs and advances justice,” said Zaidi on Twitter.
“I was floored when US President-elect Joe Biden called. I still am — profoundly humbled, deeply honored, and so ready to get to work!”
Zaidi will serve under Biden’s pick for national climate adviser, Gina McCarthy.
“I am so grateful to be serving alongside the team you have assembled. Grateful for Gina McCarthy, my guide and my good friend,” he was quoted by the CNN.
“For the incredible and inspiring leaders on this stage and for those with whom we’ll partner all across your administration. This has been a trying year for all Americans, marked by so much loss. But throughout, you, sir, have been there for us. And when the pandemic hit closer to home, you were there for me.”