Born in Tehran, Iran, Deravi received his undergraduate degree at the University of Tehran in 1977. He left for the United States and received his MBA from Tarleton State University in 1980. In 1985 he received his PhD in economics from Oklahoma State University, where he worked on programming economic models for the Oklahoma Tax Commission. In 1985, he was hired as professor at Auburn Montgomery (AUM), and between 1985 and 1993 he worked on AUM's Center for Business and Economic Development and Center for Government and Public Affairs. From 2009 to 2010, he served as interim vice-chancellor for Academic Affairs, and currently is Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Economic Affairs.
Frequently cited by newspapers across the state of Alabama, Deravi is considered "one of Alabama's best when it comes to economic forecasting" and is a longtime adviser to Alabama state officials. His models were used in the recruitment of the Mercedes Benz plant in Vance, Alabama, and he made similar projections for the Honda, Toyota, and Hyundai plants in Alabama.
- Woodruff, Cosby (18 July 2010). "An unexpected path: Economist, professor Keivan Deravi discovered his calling while pursuing other plans". Montgomery Advertiser. p. A.14–15. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
- Sieckmann, Amy (24 April 2005). "Models guide state budget projections". The Anniston Star.
- Rawls, Phillip (10 March 2010). "Alabama jobless rate rises to 11.1 percent in Jan.". Salon.com. Retrieved 18 July 2010.