In Memoriam: Stephen Everhart
By Kathleen Poe Ross
Stephen Everhart lectures during an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business workshop for Iraqi Colleges of Management and Economics in Baghdad, Iraq.
By all accounts, Stephen Everhart (M.A. ’95, Ph.D. ’02) never shied away from adventure. The intrepid economist’s work took him all over the world as an international development and finance expert. His latest mission found him in Iraq as a short-term contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development, working to develop a new business curriculum for Iraqi universities that would raise the programs to international standards.
Everhart, 53, was killed in Baghdad on June 23 when a roadside bomb hit the American convoy in which he was traveling. Everhart and his colleagues were returning to the U.S. Embassy compound from meetings at a Baghdad university when the attack took place.
Everhart completed his M.A. and Ph.D. at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. He and his wife Stephanie Zobay (M.S. ’95, Ph.D. ’02) met in the AYSPS economics doctoral program; they even defended their dissertations in back-to-back appointments on the same day in 2002. Although Everhart moved on from GSU and away from Atlanta, he remained in touch with professors and classmates. Just the day before the explosion in Baghdad, Everhart had e-mailed the chair of his dissertation committee with photos and an update for the AYSPS alumni newsletter.
“Steve Everhart was among a very strong cohort of students,” said Mary Beth Walker, AYSPS dean and longtime professor of economics. “He was a hard worker and very entrepreneurial. In recent years, we were all delighted that he was so successfully carrying out the mission of the AYS in his international work. Now we are all mourning his loss.”
Everhart joined the faculty of The American University in Cairo in 2008; less than a year later, he was named associate dean of the school of business. Previously, the Columbia, S.C., native had served as managing director of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Prior to joining OPIC, Everhart held a number of senior positions within the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, advising on energy policy, taxation and financial risk in Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Mexico, Russia, and Venezuela and teaching at the World Bank Institute.
“Steve was the type of person that would have been comfortable pretty much anywhere,” said doctoral classmate and former study partner Joey Smith (M.A. ’98, Ph.D. ’02). “He was not faint of heart when it came to moving to another country and picking up his entire family and starting things anew in a completely different environment. To give Stephanie credit too, she was right there with him the entire time.”
In addition to his wife, Everhart is survived by three children, his parents and his brother and sister.
In a statement released by The American University in Cairo, AUC President Lisa Anderson praised Everhart’s character and devotion to fostering entrepreneurship in Egypt and other developing countries.
"His infectious enthusiasm, his curiosity, passion and wisdom made him a skilled alliance-builder and formidable advocate for business as an engine of growth and prosperity in the developing world,” Anderson said. “This loss is felt throughout the university. Steve’s warmth and intelligence, his affection for his students and colleagues, and the contributions he had already begun to make to a better Egypt will all be deeply missed.”