Hicham Alaoui is a research associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He is the founder and director of the Hicham Alaoui Foundation, which promotes social science research on the Middle East and North Africa. He has served on the board of the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University, the MENA Advisory Committee for Human Rights Watch, and the Advisory Board of the Carnegie Middle East Center. He has been a Senior Lecturer at UC Santa Barbara in California and a Consulting Professor at the Center for Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law at Stanford University. He has also worked for the United Nations in various capacities, including the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo.

His academic research is regularly published in various scientific journals and newspapers in French and English.

His memoirs, Diary of a Banished Prince, were published in 2014 by Éditions Grasset and have been translated into several languages. He is author and co-editor of the volume, The Political Economy of Arab Education, published by Lynne Rienner Publishers in 2021. He received his BA from Princeton University, his MA from Stanford University, and his PhD from Oxford University.