2019 Government Innovation Awards

Rising Star: Jonathan Riksen

Associate Partner & Client Leader, IBM

Jonathan Riksen 

Jonathan Riksen joined IBM right after graduate school nearly a decade ago and has steadily expanded his role serving federal clients. In 2018, he began supporting the Department of Homeland Security with a special emphasis on Customs and Border Protection.

Riksen was instrumental in helping CBP use intelligent robotic process automation to move more than 350 million archived email messages into the agency’s new system. The RPA solution relied on 50 bots, supervised learning and machine learning to migrate some 30 terabytes of data in a matter of weeks — orders of magnitude faster than the estimated 60 staff-months a manual process would have required.

In addition, he has enabled CBP to pursue a mainframe-as-a-service model and reduce the time and expense of maintaining traditional mainframes for legacy business systems. The new approach also improves cyber resiliency and positions the agency for future cloud flexibility.

Riksen, who earned “Best of IBM” recognition earlier this year for those efforts, has worked hard to share his insights with the broader federal IT community. He is active in ACT-IAC, AFCEA, and the Homeland Security and Defense Business Council, among other organizations.

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