Zaki Barzinji is a Project Director for Aspen Digital, where he oversees a range of projects at the intersection of tech, policy, equity, and justice for underrepresented communities.
Zaki is a public affairs leader with a decade of experience in political campaigns, public service, and policy change at the state and federal level. He served in the White House as Senior Associate Director of Public Engagement and President Obama’s liaison to Arab-Americans, Muslims, Sikhs, and other minority faiths, where he worked to amplify voices and narratives seldom represented at the highest levels of government. Before joining the White House, Zaki served as tech policy advisor and Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for Governor Terry McAuliffe, where he helped direct the launch of Virginia’s first open data portal and managed Governor McAuliffe’s national cybersecurity initiative for the National Governors Association. Just prior to joining The Aspen Institute, Zaki worked as the head of state & local government affairs for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, where he partnered with Governors and Mayors across the country to close the digital divide, modernize tech policy, and leverage emerging technology to rebuild a more resilient and equitable digital infrastructure for all communities in a post-pandemic world.
Zaki’s writing and commentary have appeared in Politico, The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, The Washington Post, CNN, and a variety of other platforms. He is a Virginia native, Hokie, aspiring Jedi, husband to Michelle, and father to Zoon & Amedeo, the world’s only two KashmIraqItalian kids.