Mike Riksen is the Vice President for Policy and Representation for NPR and the public radio system and, responsible for policy development, advocacy, station and community engagement plans for NPR and the public radio system. He reports to the NPR CEO and is a key member of the NPR President's Office.
Since joining NPR in 2003, Riksen has served in this role overseeing the primary government relations position in the public radio system. With a focus on development of public policy, advocacy, and communications, Riksen increases the effectiveness of public radio's service to communities and its outreach to community leaders, supporters, and federal policy officials.
With a cross-disciplinary team of advocacy and policy specialists, Riksen identifies and addresses priority areas of concern including broadcasting, communications, and telecommunications policy initiatives; technology policy with implications for public radio's digital radio and digital distribution objectives; federal appropriations to member stations; and, digital rights and related copyright legislation for public media entities.
Prior to NPR, Riksen led activities in the Washington office for a Fortune 500 company with primary emphasis on commercial wireless and international trade arenas. He successfully developed and implemented regulatory and legislative positions in diverse policy areas including tax, trade, appropriations, broadcast, and telecommunications. He was the principle adviser to and manager of corporate political action committees.
Riksen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion from Hope College, in Holland, Michigan.