Alia is the Director of the Geo-economics and Strategy Program (GESP) at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London since January 2017, where she is responsible for analysing the interplay between economics and geopolitics at the global and regional levels, and providing advice to government and private sector corporations.
Prior to IISS, Alia worked as Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa region at Barclays Bank in London for more than 8 years, where she produced high quality economic and geopolitical analysis as well as investment advice, and represented Barclays in international fora.
She joined Barclays in October 2008 from the World Bank where she worked for six years as a senior economist responsible for research and policy dialogue covering several countries in Europe and Central Asia, as well as Indonesia.
Prior to that, she held policy responsibilities for six years in various economic institutions in Lebanon, including: chief of section at the Banque du Liban; advisor to the Minister of Economy and Trade and Minister of Industry; and finally Managing Director of the Economic and Social Fund for Development (ESFD) at the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR).
Alia holds a BA in Economics with distinction and an MBA from the American University of Beirut, as well as a Master equivalent in Public Policy and Public Administration from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in France.
She has co-authored several reports and publications, is a regular speaker in local, regional and international conferences, and her commentary has featured in the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, Sky News, the BBC, Al Arabiya, CNBC Arabia, Sky News Arabia, Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Iktissad wal-Aamal, and other regional and international outlets.