Ali is an author and commentator on Middle Eastern politics and economics with a particular focus on Saudi Arabia. After a career in banking based out of Riyadh and Dubai, he retired from finance to write. Ali authored two books, The Saudi Kingdom: Between the Jihadi Hammer and the Iranian Anvil (published as part of the Princeton University series on the Middle East) and Arabian War Games, a work of fiction. He is also widely published in elite media, including in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic and Foreign Policy, among other publications. Ali is a graduate of Princeton University with a BA in politics and of the Harvard Business School with an MBA.