Ali joined the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) in October 2022 as a PhD student, working under the supervision of Dr Mark Khater. He possesses a strong passion for systemic thinking and problem-solving, which is evident in his educational background. Ali holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology and an MSc in Systems Management from Tarbiat Modarres University, both in Iran. Furthermore, he has attained a Master of Public Policy from the esteemed Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, equipping him with critical thinking skills and interdisciplinary expertise.
Throughout his career, Ali has demonstrated a natural inclination for innovation and finding creative solutions. His entrepreneurial spirit has enabled him to thrive in challenging circumstances while maintaining persistence and composure. These qualities have propelled him into leadership roles in both public and private organizations, accumulating over 20 years of experience in the dynamic Middle East environment. During his professional journey, Ali has made significant contributions to organizations of different scales and sectors. He actively engages with professional associations and committees, extending his influence beyond his professional endeavours. Throughout his career, Ali has been recognized for his commitment to excellence.
With his notable achievements and extensive experience, Ali is well-positioned to make significant contributions to the academic field as he pursues his PhD at the University of Cambridge. His multifaceted background, analytical prowess, and unwavering dedication to creating positive change make him a highly valuable addition to the academic community.
Ali's research focuses on developing strategies to effectively integrate the financial and non-financial objectives of impact investors when investing in social ventures, particularly in the context of the Middle East and North Africa region. To achieve this, he plans to employ a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods and utilize a combination of traditional portfolio optimization techniques along with multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) approaches. This innovative approach aims to seamlessly integrate financial and impact considerations into the investment decision-making process in impact investing.
The proposed solution is a breakthrough in empowering impact investors to prioritize investments based on both financial viability and the utility they derive from aligning their investments with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By incorporating insights from behavioural science, the framework will also assess investors' willingness to sacrifice financial returns for social impact and identify their relative impact preferences. This human-like decision-making framework can be tailored to the unique experiences of individual investors in different contexts.
In summary, Ali's research seeks to provide a comprehensive and adaptable framework that enables impact investors to make informed decisions that balance financial objectives with social impact considerations, ultimately contributing to sustainable development in the Middle East and North Africa region.