The Shahbaz Mavaddat Fund

Shahbaz Mavaddat, BEng’82, MEng’85, was Director of the Southern Europe and Central Asia Department of the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC). The reactions to his death on May 10, 2010, and the demonstrations of affection from colleagues, friends and clients were overwhelming, and very much appreciated by his family. In Shahbaz’s honour, his wife, Esther Varkay, and two daughters, Carla and Ariana, are establishing an endowment to fund a Doctoral and Master’s Fellowship for the benefit of students in Southern Europe and Central Asia ― a region Shahbaz cared for greatly.

The purpose of the endowment is to use higher education as one way to promote human rights in the region and to help ensure that people are fully involved in their communities’ and their countries’ growth and development. Advanced educational opportunities through Doctoral and Master’s degrees can play a key role in enabling young people to effect positive change. Shahbaz’s family would like to ensure that his vision of people contributing to the economic development of this region carries on.

About Shahbaz Mavaddat

Shahbaz was educated at McGill University in Montreal and the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne. After working as a professional engineer in Denmark and Canada he joined the IFC in 1994, working on projects in North America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Over the years Shahbaz demonstrated his passion for, and dedication to, development. He worked hard to make a real difference in people’s lives through diverse projects, pursuing the human component in vital matters such as local community development, oil-revenue management, and labor and human rights in the context of complex multibillion-dollar development projects.

Shahbaz was extremely proud of his association with McGill University and he held McGill ― and, in particular, its Faculty of Engineering ― in high regard. The education that he received at McGill Engineering contributed immeasurably to his success in life, and for this reason his family is establishing the endowment at the McGill University Faculty of Engineering.

The Shahbaz Mavaddat Fund: supporting committed young individuals

The Fund will support the education of young people from Southern Europe and Central Asia who are committed to improving lives in their home countries. The family believes that these individuals will benefit from their McGill education in the same way Shahbaz did. The Shahbaz Mavaddat Fund will be administered by the McGill Engineering Doctoral Awards Office and will be used to help support one or more individuals from the region every year. Preference will be given to support for women.

McGill Engineering will inform the family of the names of the Fellowship winners on an annual basis and arrange for the family to have contact with the recipients of The Shahbaz Mavaddat Fund. 

How you can get involved

It costs a minimum of $200,000 to establish an endowed Fellowship at McGill University. Shahbaz Mavaddat’s family is seeking your support to help create this lasting memorial to him. Shahbaz’ wife Esther Varkay is donating $50,000 and the IFC has pledged $10,000. The IFC will also match all gifts up to a maximum of $40,000. With your generosity and that of the IFC, the endowment will become a reality.

You can make your donation in one of three ways:
(N.B. If you are a donor in the U.K. please read our information for International Donors.)

Please make sure to write “The Shahbaz Mavaddat Fund” on your cheque.

If you have questions on donation procedures, please contact Krish Dasgupta, McGill Engineering Associate Director of Development, at (514) 398-2016 or
krishanu [dot] dasgupta [at] mcgill [dot] ca.