Executive Mosaic is thrilled to present Ultra Intelligence & Communications CEO Jon Rucker with the 2024 Wash100 Award. This recognition marks Rucker’s first induction into the esteemed class of government contracting high-achievers.
Until April, EM holds a popular vote contest where you, the reader, have the chance to vote for your favorite members of the Wash100. A winner is celebrated—after the voting period ends on April 30—as the most beloved member of the GovCon community. Cast your 10 votes here today!
Every year, Executive Mosaic’s internal team spends months compiling, debating and vetting candidates for the Wash100, a compilation of the best and brightest in GovCon and the federal sector. Using metrics of leadership, innovation, reliability, vision and more, EM assembles a diverse roster of military leaders, government officials and private sector stalwarts to predict who will be the biggest change-makers in the coming year in the industry.
“To be in such good company as a Wash100 recipient is humbling for me personally, but more importantly it means our Ultra Intelligence & Communications team is receiving recognition for its important role in delivering decision advantage to mission partners worldwide,” offered Rucker. “It reflects the collective effort and unwavering dedication of the entire team – it’s their talent and commitment to our customers and technology that drive our shared success.”
“Jon is at the leading edge of technology, communication and intelligence innovation at Ultra. He has built upon Ultra’s rich history of research and development to bring enabling capabilities to the market, especially in mission-critical areas like satellite communications,” said Jim Garrettson, CEO of Executive Mosaic and founder of the Wash100 Award. “With GovCon industry experience at companies like SAIC, CACI and Lockheed Martin, combined with an engineering background and a penchant for embracing emerging tech, Jon is uniquely poised to lead Ultra in its next phase of dynamic growth and market expansion. His leadership and innovation have earned him a spot on the Wash100 list this year.”
Rucker has now resided in the chief executive position at Ultra I&C for just over a year and has made big changes to the organization, priming it to compete with the prominent players in the command, control, communications and cybersecurity markets.
The accomplished executive built a comprehensive background at a few of these titans before moving to the mid-size business space with Ultra. He began his career with Lockheed Martin in the mid-1990s, where he started as a tactical engineer and subsequently ascended to various leadership positions, including directing the company’s C3 wing.
He ultimately spent nearly 20 years with LM, before logging stints at CACI International and SAIC, respectively. At CACI, he was senior vice president of command, control, communications and intelligence (foreshadowing his work with Ultra I&C), while at SAIC, he led the U.S. Army business unit, which commanded a budget of about $1.2 billion in engineering and information technology services. He honed his abilities directing a large-scale team here, too, presiding over a 3,000-plus-person, international network.
Rucker arrived at Ultra I&C in Nov. 2022. At the one-year anniversary of his appointment, he told GovCon Wire he was most proud of the robust leadership team he has helped put in place during his tenure so far. These new additions in 2023 included Chris Bishop’s April hire as chief growth officer; Northrop Grumman and Cubic veteran Bradford Powell’s August appointment as C2I president; and James Parys’ November transition from Parsons to the role of VP of strategic capture command and control and intelligence at Ultra I&C.
Rucker and his newly formed team steadily built a number of eye-catching partnerships and achievements that are sure to pay off in the near future. In August, the company announced a collaboration with Texas A&M University to integrate systems intended to enable warfighters to operate and manage autonomous vehicles. (Ultra I&C’s innovation hub, Ultra Labs, will be instrumental in this partnership.)
In a statement, Rucker said the team-up “presents a tremendous opportunity for Ultra I&C to capitalize on our functional strengths and contribute to cutting-edge technological advancements, including Cascade. By working together, we will address real-world challenges and contribute to the improvement of global telecommunications infrastructure.”
In October, the company joined forces with TrellisWare Technologies to synchronize the pair’s tactical communication capabilities into a versatile, multi-channel radio platform.
Also notable was the arrival of a new offering from Ultra I&C: in March, it demonstrated a medium Earth orbit capability for its expeditionary satellite communications antenna and terminal solutions. Already proficient in geostationary Earth orbit, this development — which accommodates 1.0 meter to 2.4 meter flyaway terminals — brought Ultra I&C to a multi-orbit capacity echelon.
SATCOM will be a core focus of the 2024 Space Summit, from Potomac Officers Club. Held on March 5, the event will gather government officials from all of the major space agencies — with a focus on defense — to dialogue directly with industry. Register here now. (Event will be held at the Hilton-McLean in Virginia.)
Executive Mosaic congratulates Jon Rucker and the entire Ultra Intelligence & Communications on their 2024 Wash100 win and anticipates great things for their work in the coming year.