Zaini Ujang is the Secretary General, Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Malaysia since 5 August 2016. He was the Secretary General Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia since July 2015 – August 2016 and the Secretary General II, Ministry of Education Malaysia (June 2013 – July 2015), the fifth Vice-Chancellor of University Technology Malaysia (October 2008 - May 2013) and the first recipient of the prestigious Merdeka Award for the category of Outstanding Scholastics Achievement in 2009.
He was Chairman of the task force for preparing Malaysia Higher Education Blueprint (2015 – 2025) and spearheading the governance and financial sustainability shifts. He also has initiated UTM transformation program to be research technical university, from 10% to 50% enrolment of graduate students within five years (2008 – 2013); and initiated research collaborations with MIT, Imperial College London, Cambridge and Oxford.
His academic contributions are in the field of environmental management and technology, particularly water and wastewater treatment sustainable resource strategies and industrial ecology. Apart from his involvement in his academics, he also served on various public agencies such as Chairman of Environmental Quality Council, Malaysia (since 2009), and member of National Water Services Commission (2007 – 2014).
He has written more than 250 scientific papers published in leading academic journals and proceedings, and 33 books on environmental engineering, water sustainability, higher education and learning innovation, and published more than 1000 articles in mainstream media since 1988.
He is also active in voluntary bodies: Vice-President of International Water Association (2004 - 2006), Editor of Water Science and Technology since 2000 and President Harvard Business School Alumni Club of Malaysia (2016).
He is a Fellow at the Swedish Royal Physiographic Society in Lund (Sweden), Fellow at the Science Academy (Malaysia) Fellow at the Institute of Chemical Engineering (UK) and seeing Fellow of Institute Water Association.
He is also registered as a Professional Engineer (Malaysia), Chartered Engineer (UK), Chartered Scientist (UK), Chartered Water and Environmental Manager (UK). He was also a Visiting Professor at MIT (the United States), Imperial College London (UK), and Tsukuba University Japan.