Steven J. Smith

President and CEO

Steve’s leadership skills have been formed and tested across a number of fast-paced and high-energy organizations in the aviation, logistics, nonprofit, public relations, and information technology arenas.

As President and CEO of Airlink, Steve has taken the organization from a fledgling enterprise to an experienced, professional disaster logistics nonprofit that delivers hope and aid to millions of people across the globe. Today, Airlink works with and enjoys the partnership of the world’s leading airlines and nonprofit organizations. Since Steve joined Airlink in 2013, he has delivered a twentyfold increase in the organization’s resource base and global impact. Today, Steve oversees all Airlink’s operations, leading a team that delivers humanitarian aid and responders, capacity building for the disaster relief nonprofit sector, and significant efficiencies across the disaster logistics landscape. Airlink also serves as a growth partner to new NGOs in the disaster response space. Wherever there is a natural or man-made disaster, Airlink responds by providing free and low-cost air transport and logistical coordination to an ever-growing network of over 130 NGOs. Steve is regularly invited to speak at aviation, cargo, and humanitarian conferences; he is also the face of Airlink in media interviews and podcasts. Steve regularly hosts Airlink’s own podcast – Flightpath.  

Amongst Steve’s career highlights is Airlink’s Ebola Airbridge to West Africa which has been referenced multiple times by President Clinton as one of the top three successes of CGI and the Clinton Foundation. Steve recently became an alum of the Presidential Leadership Scholars class of 2023, comprised of 60 accomplished leaders, including service members, educators, physicians, public servants, and corporate professionals. 

Prior to joining Airlink, Steve held a number of international leadership positions across a number of sectors – aviation, nonprofit, public relations, and information technology. Steve is also an accomplished golfer, winning a number of junior tournaments in the past, representing the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and won Freshman of the Year in the South Atlantic Conference while at University of Mars Hill, North Carolina. This has proved handy for Airlink, as Steve often plays on Airlink’s behalf in the ISTAT Foundation annual charity golf fundraiser, with teams of golfers donating to have him be their additional drive.

Learn More About Our Work

The Airlink team works every day to help connect NGOs and airlines to meet pressing humanitarian needs across the globe.