Steven R. Koltai
Steven R. Koltai is the Managing Director of Koltai & Co. LLC and a Guest Scholar at the Brookings Institution. He is a successful repeat entrepreneur in the telecommunications and event management industries, and from 2009-2011 served as Senior Advisor for Entrepreneurship in Secretary Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
While at the State Department, Steven created and ran the Global Entrepreneurship Program, a central element of President Obama’s strategy for changing the relationship between the U.S. and Muslim communities around the world. He left the State Department to continue the work of global entrepreneurship ecosystem building via Koltai & Co.
Steven has over 30 years of business experience with several successful startups under his belt, including SES, the world’s largest commercial TV satellite system, and Event411, an online event management business which he founded, grew to over 250 employees, and sold in 2002. He has also served as Senior Vice President for Strategy and Corporate Development at Warner Bros., as a strategic planning consultant at McKinsey & Co., and as an investment banker at Salomon Bros.
Steven is an active angel investor and mentor to entrepreneurs around the world. He is the author of Peace through Entrepreneurship: Investing in a Startup Culture for Security and Development (Brookings Press, 2016) and writes and speaks frequently about entrepreneurship as a foreign policy tool.
publications and Press/appearances
• "Refugees need jobs. Entrepreneurship Can Help," Harvard Business Review, 29 December 2016.
• "The Mouse and the Hippo: Solving Problems in Procurement," Devex, 10 October 2016.
• "'Business Sense' is Nonsense in 2016," U.S. News & World Report, 7 October 2016.
• "The Truth About Email at the State Department," The Hill, 18 September 2016.
• "Entrepreneurship is More than IT – And That's Good News for Policy," Brookings TechTank, 12 September 2016.
• "Entrepreneurship Needs to Be a Bigger Part of U.S. Foreign Aid," Harvard Business Review, 15 August 2016.
• "Obama Made a False Promise for Jobs in the Middle East," Time.com, 21 June 2016.