Ali Shihabi

Professional Background

The Arabia Foundation

Founder  (2017–2019) 

The Arabia Foundation was a think tank focused on the geopolitics of the Arabian Peninsula.

International Crisis Group

Member of the Board of Trustees  (2015–2017) 

The International Crisis Group is an independent, nonprofit nongovernmental organization committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.

MBC (Middle East Broadcasting Center) 

Board and Audit Committee Member (2008–2015)

The MBC Group is the largest TV satellite broadcaster in the Arab world and the parent company of the Al Arabiya news network.

Georgetown University; Center for Contemporary Arab Studies Board Member  (2012–2014)


Founder, Chairman (1999–2012) 

Founder of Rasmala, as a GCC-focused private equity fund with Deutsche Bank as the anchor investor. Rasmala subsequently developed, and grew with acquisitions, into a full-service investment bank with operations in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Egypt. 

RAKBANK (National Bank Of Ras Al Khaymah, UAE)

Board Member (2006–2009) 

Saudi Hollandi Bank (renamed Al Awal Bank) 

Chairman, Board Management Committee (1990–2004) 

Led the team, representing the Mawarid Group, that acquired control of the board of the bank and carried out a comprehensive restructuring of the bank’s strategy, management, and operations. Continued to manage the bank until the controlling stake was sold to the Olayan Group in 2004.

Orbit Satellite Television Network

Board Member (1991–1997) 

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Founding director of the first digital satellite TV broadcaster to the Arab world.

Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) 

Head, Managed Portfolios Team (1985–1988) 

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Headed the team that supervised the (outside) institutional fund managers of SAMA (the Saudi Central Bank and Sovereign Wealth Fund) and also headed SAMA’s New York office.

JP Morgan Bank

Bank Management Training Program  (1981–1982)


  • Harvard Business School, MBA, 1985
  • Princeton University, BA in politics, 1981