2016-2017 Luce Scholar

Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources

For his Luce year in Indonesia, Mohammad Zia will work with the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in Jakarta to explore innovative ways for local governments to finance renewable energy using information, investment, and technology to address growing electricity demand and promote sustainable development in Indonesia. Mohammad will be working on initiatives such as the Indonesian Centre of Excellence on Clean Energy (COE), a Bali based research and innovation hub that will convene expertise to facilitate the transfer and deployment of renewable energy technology through innovative business models. Mohammad will be providing both research and strategic advice on incentivizing renewable energy uptake to ensure a sustainable energy future in Indonesia.

Born in Saudi Arabia to parents of Afghan and Pakistani descent, Mohammad moved to the United States when he was six years old and was raised in Queens, New York and rural Kentucky. In 2005, immigration issues forced his family to move back to Pakistan but he eventually returned and became an American citizen in 2010. He attended the University of Maryland where he created his own major, Global Diplomacy and Development. He volunteered abroad with rural farmers in Uganda, marginalized youth in Senegal and Tanzania, and disabled communities in Morocco. He also interned at the U.S. Embassy in France and with USAID, and served as a legal clerk at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Upon graduation in 2014, he worked as a short-term consultant with the World Bank’s Inspection Panel where he constructed a comprehensive database of over 90 legal investigations, and then spent a year in Jordan studying Arabic as a Boren Scholar and volunteering with Syrian refugees. Recognized as a Humanity in Action Fellow and a Truman Scholar, Mohammad aspires to become a leader in U.S. foreign policy advancing effective governance and sustainable development. He received a master’s degree in Public Policy at the University of Oxford where his studies focused on energy resources and economic policy. He speaks Arabic, French, and Urdu and plans to study Persian in the future. He hopes to learn more about the intersections of sustainable resource development, regional diplomacy, and Islam in Asia while studying a local language and enjoying the continent’s diverse food cultures.