Ali holds a B.F.A. in Craft and Sculpture from The University of the Arts, in Philadelphia and an M.A. in Arts Administration from Winthrop University. She started her career at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and completed her training in conservation at The University of Oxford, England. Overall, her work in the arts encompasses nearly 20 years in major national and international museums and Universities. In her adopted home of North Carolina, Ali is passionate about promoting art and history collections that engage and inspire, and leading teams of creative individuals to inspire change through the arts.

Ali believes that museums should be places of respite, exploration, and discovery. She values the idea of museums as "brave spaces" that challenge and unite visitors in their shared humanity. As Director, Ali is dedicated to transforming the Gaston County Museum into a place of belonging, where visitors see themselves reflected in relevant exhibitions and programming that tell the story of Gaston County.