Ali Cheema is Associate Professor of Economics and the Head of the Economics Department at the Lahore University of Management Sciences. A Rhodes Scholar, he holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Cambridge, an M-Phil in Economics and Politics from the University of Cambridge, a BA (Hons.) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford, and a BA in Mathematics and Statistics from Government College, Lahore. He has recently been asked to co-convene (with Profs. Barry Weingast, Stanford and Jean Paul Faguet, London School of Economics) the Initiative of Policy Dialogue (IPD), Columbia University, Taskforce on Decentralization. He is also co-convener (with Prof. Mark Robinson, Institute of Development Studies, Sussex) of the State Capacity programme, funded by the Development Research Centre (DRC) on the Future State, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, UK. He was also one of the founding members (along with Asim Khwaja, Harvard; Jishnu Das, World Bank and Tahir Andrabi, Pomona, College) of the Stockholm Challenge Award winning portal, Relief Information System for Earthquakes, Pakistan (RISEPAK).
His areas of research are political economy, public choice, development economics, economic history, governance and decentralization and his work has a strong policy focus. His work uses a combination of methodologies that include social network analysis, ethnographies, archival work, and GIS mapping along with rigorous econometric analysis.