Ali supports SELC’s regional biomass work, which exposes how the wood pellet industry impacts the climate negatively, and protects Southern forests from wood pellet sourcing. She engages in written advocacy geared toward policymakers at the federal and international levels, and partners with the SELC water team, focusing on the protection of North Carolina’s waterways for all who depend on them.
“My childhood was full of lessons about the value of other living beings—my mom would never pass up an animal in need on the side of the road, and they often found their way to our house,” Ali recalled. “I remember learning about pollution and climate change and worrying about how they would impact the Earth and all its creatures.”
A college seminar on sustainability taught Ali to see connections between social ills, and law school offered a way to use language to advance the goal of a world that works for everyone. She served a summer internship at SELC during 2017, and returned as an attorney full-time in 2022. She started just a few months after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, making this an exciting time in her career.
“I’m thrilled to be able to rejoin SELC and engage in meaningful work with teams of intelligent, compassionate people,” Ali said. “I feel lucky to have a window into efforts to influence policy decisions around climate change and our clean-energy transition.”
Mountains hold a special place in Ali’s heart. She spent her childhood near a stretch of the Appalachians, fell in love with the Montana Rockies in high school, and made her first home after college near the Colorado Rockies. “I’m at my happiest when I’m among the trees or beside a high-elevation lake, taking in the flora and fauna,” she said.
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina, clerk
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, clerk
- J.D., Duke University School of Law, cum laude; Law and Contemporary Problems, executive editor; Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum, article editor
- Teach for America, corps member, taught high-school Spanish for three years in Denver
- B.A., University of Louisville, summa cum laude
- With SELC since 2022