Alli was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. She attended Northwestern University where her studies focused on the Syrian conflict, the political economy of the Arab Gulf states, and Arabic. After graduating in 2016, she joined the dean’s office in Northwestern’s Qatar campus where she helped develop and improve programs to connect students between the sister campuses. After a year in Qatar, she joined the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as a junior fellow in the Geoeconomics and Strategy Program. Alli spent summer of 2015 at the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute at Princeton University. Her hobbies include volleyball, knitting, watching movies, and karaoke.