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 and Arabian War Games. He is widely published, including in the New York Times, the Washington Post, 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.