Steven Koltai is Research Affiliate at MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) Senior Advisor for Entrepreneurship at MIT D-Lab, Non-Resident Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is also Managing Director of Koltai & Co, an entrepreneurship development consultancy that has worked in over 3 dozen countries, and for the past 4 years exclusively in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, Koltai was Lead Mentor World Bank XL Africa (World Bank President’s Award 2017). From 2009-2012, Koltai was the first State Department Senior Advisor for Entrepreneurship (under Secretary Hillary Clinton) where he created and ran the Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP). Prior to 2009, Koltai had a 40 year business career including stints at Bankers Trust Company and Salomon Bros (both in the international project finance groups), McKinsey & Company (in the media group), and 10 years as Corporate Senior Vice President for Strategy and Business Development at Warner Bros. Koltai has also been a repeat entrepreneur, whose own start-ups included serving as co-founder of $16 billion market cap Luxembourg-based SES television satellite company.
Among his non-profit activities, Koltai is a member of the Lincolnville Maine Broadband Committee, Supervisory Board Chair of Skilllab (an Amsterdam-based developer of skills assessment apps for refuges, migrants and other job seekers), General Partner and Entrepreneur in Residence of Atlantica Ventures (a Series A-B venture investor in African tech startups), and a member of the Board of the Wiscasset (ME) National Digital Equity Center.
Koltai earned a BA in History, magna cum laude Tufts University, MA Tufts’ Fletcher School. Licence in European Economics (as Fulbright Scholar) from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. Koltai was an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (where he has been a member for over 30 years) Koltai was a Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow in 2018.
Koltai lives with his husband, Ivan Zizek, in Lincolnville, ME and has two adult sons and one grandson.