Ali Shihabi has been a member of the Neom advisory board since January 2020. He is an author and commenter on Middle Eastern politics with a focus on Saudi Arabia.
Shihabi attained his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1981 from Princeton University in the US. He obtained his master’s in finance from Harvard Business School in 1985.
Before joining the Neom advisory board, Shihabi was the founder of The Arabia Foundation — a think tank focused on the geopolitics of the Arabian Peninsula, based in Washington.
From January 2016 to December 2017, he was a member of the board of trustees for the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit nongovernmental organization committed to preventing resolving deadly conflicts.
He was also a board member of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at George Washington University, in Washington, from January 2013 to December 2014.
Shihabi started his career in banking, with his first stint was at JP Morgan’s management program from 1981 to 1982. He later moved to the Gulf International Bank as a banking officer, before heading the team that supervised the institutional fund managers at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency.
For 14 years, Shihabi worked for Saudi Holland Bank (renamed Al-Awal Bank in 2016) from 1990-2004 as chairman of the board management committee. He later moved to the National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah, serving as a board member from 2006 until 2009.
Shihabi founded Rasmala in 1999, a Gulf Cooperation Council-focused private equity fund, with Deutsche Bank as the key investor. He was also a board and audit committee member for MBC, from January 2008 until December 2015.
His Twitter handle is @alishihabi.