Dr. Mehdi Ali

Dr. Mehdi Ali Current Position:
 Adjunct Professor
 Managing Director, Mehdi Ali Associates, International Advisory and Consultancy: Finance, Economics and Rule of Law, Vienna, Austria,

 Country of Origin:




Courses taught at Webster

Undergraduate Courses

  • ECON 3200 Money and Banking
  • ECON 3720 International Trade and Finance

Graduate Courses

  • FINC 5830 Institutions and Financial Markets


  • Ph.D. in Economics, University of Cambridge, England
  • M.Sc. in Statistics, The London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, England
  • B.Sc. Honor in Economics, College of Economics and Political Science, University of Baghdad, Iraq

Background and Facts

  • Economic training and managerial experience with 32 years of employment with international organizations including:  Senior Economist at the World Bank, Washington DC; Director at the OPEC Fund  for International Development, Vienna,; Director at the United Nations, Vienna; UN Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa, Cairo, Egypt.
  • Successful fund-raising for the World Bank, the OPEC Fund and the United Nations
  • Contacts at the highest political levels in the Middle East including Heads of States and Governments, as well as with Executives in the private sector
  • Advisor to Arab governments on macro-economic and financial planning (e.g.; Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates).
  • Oil Analyst accredited to the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC)

Awards and Honors

  • Award from the President of the Republic of Iraq for the top graduate in the College of Economics and Political Science, University of Baghdad, Iraq
  • Recognition for outstanding performance from the Secretary - General of the United Nations, New York, and from the Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna.
  • Excellence in Teaching Award 2015 by Webster Vienna Private University

Selected Publications

  • Ali, M. (2015) “Assessing the Enabling Environment for the Private Sector in Arab Gulf States” Middle East Economic Survey, Vol. 58, No. 39, on 25th September 2015
    The Arab Gulf states consist of 6 countries (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait), members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The article concludes that while making impressive progress toward developing a good enabling environment for private business, it is surprising to observe that all the GCC economies remain at sub-optimal level in their “Ease of Doing Business” ranking by the World Bank, and that every GCC economy recorded “significantly poor” ranking in at least 4 out of the 10 categories comprising the Ease of Doing Business ranking by World Bank.
  • Current Economic Position and Prospects of Bahrain. The World Bank, December 28, 1973.
  • Oil and Absorptive Capacity in the Economy of Iraq, Producer Country Group. The World Bank, May 1974.
  • The Economy of the United Arab Emirates. The World Bank, July 29, 1974.
  • The Economy of Qatar. The World Bank, August 29, 1974.
  • Current Economic Position and Prospects of the Yemen Arab Republic. The World Bank, January 9, 1976.
  • “The Manpower Dilemma” in the Arab World – Past Experience and Future Outlook”.  Arab Oil Journal, No. 7 April and No. 8 May 1976.
  • “Co-operative Activities of the World Bank with Other Donor Agencies”. Vol.2. Development Center Studies, OECD, Paris, 1978.
  • ArabRepublic of Egypt, Economic Management in a Period of Transition. The Johns Hopkins University Press 1980.
  • Assessment of the Social Dimensions of Structural Adjustment in Sub-Saharan Africa, Republic of Ghana.  The World Bank, August 1, 1989.
  • Social Dimensions of Adjustment Project, Republic of Tanzania.  The World Bank, August 20, 1991.
  • The Financial Challenges facing the Developing Countries in the 1980s. Paper presented at OPEC/UNCTAD Seminar on “Energy and Development.  OPEC, Vienna, July 1980.
  • Financing the Energy Requirements of Developing Countries – The Role of OPEC Aid. OPEC Fund for International Development. Vienna, Pamphlet No. 17, December 1981.
  • The OPEC Fund Experience in Project Financing with Local Counterpart Funds (1976 – 1982). OPEC Fund for International Development. Vienna. Pamphlet No. 23. May 1983.
  • “Agriculture and Energy in the OPEC Fund’s Activities – A Sectoral Perspective”, Chapter 3 in the OPEC Fund for International Development: The Formative years.  Croom Helm Ltd.  Beckenhaus, Kent, UK, June 1983.
  • OPEC in the Changing World Economy. Vienna. OPEC Bulletin, July/August, 1987,
  • “Oil Prices and Their Impact”. Published by the Diplomatic Academy, Vienna, Favorita Papers 02/2006 under “The Energy Gamble: Securing the Future Mix of Energy”, Diplomatic Academy, Vienna, June 2006.
  • “Rethinking Development”. The Vienna Review, Vol. 4, No. 5, November 2006. Vienna.
  • Opportunities for Private Equity Investment in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA), Study prepared for Franklin Templeton Investments, April 2007.

Currently under review

“The Ease of Doing Business in the Albanian Economy“ (under consideration for publication by the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies)
Using the 10 indices of  the World Bank to assess the ease of doing business, the study found that the Albanian economy in 2015 ranked 68 in the World compared 89 in 2009, which is impressive because only two decades ago, the Albanian economy was totally controlled by the state and thus the private sector was non-existent. Another main finding is that in comparison with the other 10 Balkan economies, the Albanian economy scored well in 2 indices: Starting Business and Getting Credits, which led it to rank 4th among the Balkan economies.  Apart from this, the Albanian economy was lagging behind the other Balkan economies in the rest of the Ease of Doing Business indices, ranking 7th to 10th among the Balkan economies. This tell us that Albania has a long way to go towards providing a robust enabling environment for the private sector, which is badly needed for achieving sustainable economic growth.