As President and CEO of Fourth Economy Consulting, entrepreneur Richard Overmoyer (A&S ’94, GSPIA ’98) is leading this Pittsburgh-based national consulting firm to provide economic development solutions to businesses, communities, and non-profit organizations.
Overmoyer received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Department of Political Science in 1994 and went on to complete his Master of Science degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs in 1998. Overmoyer explains that his undergraduate coursework in eastern European politics, Latin American politics, and economics allowed him to start thinking about how political and economic systems work. Ultimately, his undergraduate experience allowed him to see that his career goals required a higher level degree. “I chose Pitt because of the quality of the programs and the fact that the school is in a vibrant city with a lot to experience.”
Overmoyer has managed both private and public sector projects having previously served the Commonwealth as Pennsylvania’s Deputy Secretary of Technology Investment. In this position, Rich directly managed technology investment programs totaling over $82 million annually. As Executive Director of the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, Rich and his team were credited with the creation of hundreds of new Pennsylvania companies and thousands of jobs within the Commonwealth. Rich also supervised numerous other state-funded entrepreneurial and technology commercialization organizations. He designed and launched the Keystone Innovation Zone program to spur economic development around Pennsylvania’s university research institutions and create entrepreneurial networks across the state.
He describes, “several of these programs are continuing initiatives and some, like the Keystone Innovation Zone initiative, have won awards. As a consultant I have worked with dozens of local, regional and statewide organizations to develop the climate and tools that support innovation and entrepreneurship–both critical to strengthening our economy.”
In 2005, he joined GSP Consulting, where he started and led the Economic Architecture practice – a national consulting group focused on emerging industries and community planning. With dozens of projects completed nationwide, Fourth Economy Consulting was spun out of this successful practice in 2010.
Looking back on his time at Pitt, his most memorable moment is a sentimental one that has shaped a family tradition. “During our first year on campus, on a cold Saturday morning, my future wife, Jennifer, and I decided to take a walk around campus. A light snow was falling as we walked over to the Cathedral. We stopped in to escape the cold for a moment and found the Nationality Room's Open House. The cultures, the music, the food, and the beautiful rooms all left us in awe. It was a wonderful time and continues to inspire us as each year we bring our family and friends to share the experience. And each year we decorate our tree with a few ornaments that we picked up that day some 22 years ago.”
Overmoyer’s advice for current political science majors is for students to “look for experiences inside and outside the classroom. Always think about practical learning opportunities where you can test out what you are learning in the classroom. Pittsburgh has a wealth of opportunities for students - volunteer, internship, and other types. Pitt is a nationally recognized University located in a city that allows for many experiences. The resources and talent that the University hosts will prepare you well for your future.”