SRINAGAR: Ben Downing, a former state lawmaker, from the American state of Massachusetts is trying his luck to be next governor in the elections 91 weeks away. He has picked a Kashmir origin US engineer Zaid Ashai to be the head the chair of his campaigning, American media reported.
Zaid Ashai is the son of Asmat Ashai, the Kashmir culture activist who has been working for years to revive the traditional Kashmir music. Son of Asmat and Shaukat Ashai, a medical doctor, (grandson of Ghulam Ahmad Ashai), Zaid is an engineer who is heading a company called Nexamp, a renewable energy company. Shauqat’s father, Ghulam Qadir had migrated to Pakistan years after the partition. Asmat, daughter of Ghulam Nabi Drabu of Gogjiagh, was married to her cousin after the permission was granted by the then Prime Minister of India as a special case.
Zaid, according to Boston based Nexamp, holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an MPA from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University. At Harvard University, Zaid was selected as a Zuckerman Fellow. He has an AB in International Relations and Economics, with honours and Phi Beta Kappa, from Brown University. Zaid has served as a judge and mentor for the New England Cleantech Open and has served as a guest faculty member for the Pennsylvania Power Law Conference hosted by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Zaid currently serves on the boards of SEIA, NECEC and Vote Solar.
Interestingly, Downing, 39, a Pittsfield Democrat, was a member of the state senator for 10 years who stepped down in 2016 and took a job at Nexamp. One of his key commitments is going to be using 100 per cent renewable energy by all in the state by 2030. Governor Charlie Baker is currently ruling the state.