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Zak Allal

Non-Resident Scholar

Non-Resident Scholar

Professional Experience

Dr. Allal has previously acted as a teaching fellow at Singularity University (SU) in medicine and neuroscience, a Silicon Valley think tank that offers educational programs and a business incubator focusing on scientific progress and “exponential” technologies (artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, nanotechnology) at the NASA Research Park in California. He later was appointed its ambassador to France. During Zak’s time as an ambassador, he advocated for technological progress and humanism, and built partnerships with major French universities and corporations. He gave several talks on the topic, including one with French Minister of Education and Philosopher Luc Ferry where he publicly called for technological progress that benefits the human condition.

Before landing in Silicon Valley, Dr. Allal spent time in the United Nations in New York, the World Health Organization in Geneva, UNESCO in Paris (where he worked in knowledge management and strategic planning projects), and the SIPRI in Stockholm (doing research on health diplomacy and health security).

Dr. Allal’s entrepreneurial work includes founding and managing the Organ Preservation Alliance (OPA), a Silicon Valley non-profit biotech start-up that specializes in human organ preservation technologies for transplantation. The OPA was initially funded by techno-philanthropist Peter Thiel (founder of PayPal and Palantir). Later, the OPA worked on organ transplantation “Apollo program” with Stanford, Harvard, DARPA, The Department of Defense, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. OPA’s work consequently led to significant progress in the field of organ transplantation, including the Obama Administration announcing key actions to reduce the organ waiting list.


Dr. Allal holds a Medical Doctor degree from the University of Oran in Algeria. He has completed his clinical rotations at the Hospitals of Harvard and Oxford where he focused respectively on heart surgery and interventional neuro-radiology. He also holds a certificate in innovation and entrepreneurship from Stanford Graduate School of Business, an Executive Master’s degree in Management and Strategic Economic Intelligence from the School of Economic Warfare in Paris, and a Professional Master’s degree in Strategic International Studies at IWP.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis shakes hands with Dr. Zak Allal at IWP Commencement in May 2018.
Above: Secretary of Defense James Mattis with Dr. Zak Allal at IWP Commencement in May 2018.

Dr. Allal’s artistic career started when he first gave a piano recital at the Spanish Cultural Center Instituto Cervantes in Oran, Algeria. He consequently studied piano composition and Spanish classical music in Spain, and then in London with Royal Academy of Music Professors. Zak Allal composes classical piano music and has recorded one piano album called Celestial. Celestial was inspired by nature and life experiences and is used for music therapy. He also has premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York and has given various piano recitals and concerts in London, Barcelona, Paris, Montreal, San Francisco and Geneva.