Dr. Ali is a national of Saudi Arabia, where he completed early education. He holds a B.A. degree in commerce and a degree in law from Cairo University, Egypt. He earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, both in public administration, from University of Michigan–Ann Arbor and University at Albany, State University of New York, USA.
Dr. Ali began his career in education and manpower development with his appointment as director, Scientific and Islamic Institute, Aden, Yemen. Subsequently, he returned to Saudi Arabia and became the acting rector of King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah. In 1972, he was selected to serve as deputy minister of education, a position he held for three years.
When the member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) decided to establish the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), he was appointed to serve as its first president, first from 1975 to 1993 and again from 1995 to the present. With his qualifications, background, and commitment to development, he transformed the IsDB into a full-fledged group comprising several specialized institutions and funds dealing with development financing, trade financing, private sector financing, and investment insurance.
During 1993 to 1995, having been chosen secretary general of the Muslim World League, he was given the task of restructuring it, after which he returned to serve the IsDB. He has also been contributing to the welfare of the community in Saudi Arabia, extending his services to the higher education councils of five universities and as a board member of the Saudi Fund for Development.
Dr. Ali’s views on development have been expressed in many articles, speeches, lectures, and papers on Islamic economics, banking, and education. He is a firm believer that Islamic principles and their applications in economics and banking have a lot to offer the world and thus contribute positively toward solving economic problems.
A key vision of Dr. Ali is the importance of implementing sound financial and management policies. The IsDB has thus secured an AAA rating from all three global rating agencies (Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch) for seven consecutive years. This has laid the foundation for IsDB’s providing expanded financing to member countries at competitive terms.
Dr. Ali is married and has four children.
Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, September 2011