Steve Smith


Steve Smith, Partner

Steve Smith brings 20-plus years of senior business leadership experience to governmental, corporate and non-profit clients, including organizational management, marketing and communications, business development, and fiscal management. He is adept at initiating and cultivating successful partnerships and delivering results.

Steve provides counsel to governmental, corporate and non-profit organizations in the areas of public affairs strategy, relationship development, and community and economic development. He leads Pendleton’s project review teams and has authored economic analysis reports for some of Georgia’s largest counties. He advises governmental leaders and elected officials on developing and refining focused economic development strategies, as well as assembling effective teams to implement strategic economic development plans.

Prior to joining Pendleton, Steve served as the associate superintendent for Atlanta Public Schools (APS), with responsibility for all aspects of the system’s $600-million budget and day-to-day operations, from 2011-2014. He led the turnaround and rebuilding of the school district in the aftermath of a national scandal involving cheating on State Standardized Tests.

Prior to joining APS, Steve was vice president of corporate responsibility and governmental affairs for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS, Inc.), where he served as the company’s liaison to elected officials and community leaders. He also administered TBS, Inc.’s corporate philanthropy programs.

Before joining TBS, Inc., Steve was director of administrative services for Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), where he led daily operations for GPB’s procurement and purchasing, security, corporate fleet, space allocation and marketing departments. He also served as a principal in the Fulton County School System, where he was responsible for supervising and implementing curriculum for students, recruiting teachers, and developing partnerships with businesses to support school programs.

Steve is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta and Leadership Georgia. He is a founding investor and former board member of Atlantic Capital Bank, located in Buckhead. Steve serves (or has served) on the board of directors for the following organizations: Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (past chair), Georgia Chamber of Commerce (past vice president, membership), 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Grady Hospital Ambassador Force, University of Georgia Foundation Board of Trustees, University of Georgia Alumni Association, and the Andrew & Walter Young Family YMCA (current chair). He has served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Independent Redistricting Task Force, and was a mayoral appointment to the Atlanta Arts & Cultural Funding Task Force.

Steve completed the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at Terry College. The program included an international residency to Vietnam and China. In addition to his MBA, Steve earned a master’s degree in educational leadership and a bachelor’s degree in English education from UGA.

Steve and his wife, Dr. Debra Smith, live in Atlanta, and have one child, Steven, Jr., who is a senior at UGA.