A Washington, DC native, Nizam has been working in his family’s historic restaurant, Ben’s Chili Bowl, since he was a child. Opened in 1958 on U Street by his parents Ben and Virginia Ali, Ben’s had already been around for 12 years before Nizam was born.

A few years after graduating from the University of Virginia, and subsequently from the University of Maryland School of Law, Nizam jumped back in “The Bowl” to help his brother Kamal and his family run the business.

Over the years, Nizam has been integral in the success and growth of the Ben’s brand. He co-owns Ben’s Next Door, has helped open Ben’s Gift Shop, locations at Nationals Park and FedEx Field, and even mail order of Ben’s signature foods and merchandise across the country. Nizam also co-authored the book Ben’s Chili Bowl: 50 Years of a Washington DC Landmark.

Nizam currently serves as Chairman of the nonprofit Think Local First DC, Vice Chairman of The Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation, Secretary of Destination DC, and is a former board member of Teaching For Change.