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With both a BS and MS in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia, Ralph Nelson has amassed substantial experience in systems engineering and international business operations. He has provided executive leadership to a number of divisions at IBM, drawing on technical knowledge spanning program management, operations, and services delivery management as well as complex systems integration. Ralph Nelson first joined the firm as a systems engineer at IBM Federal Systems, where he facilitated hardware and software solutions for nuclear submarines used by the United States Navy. He later accepted the positions of vice president and delivery leader for the firm’s Global Business Services division, overseeing all operations for a $3 billion portfolio comprising Application Services accounts throughout North and South America. In this capacity, he also sponsored the Application Assembly Optimization (AAO) initiative, a multi-year strategy to increase productivity worldwide.

Ralph Nelson currently serves as vice president and COO of IBM's Watson Group. Based in New York City. The Watson Group facilitates tech solutions for a wide range of business clients, focusing on the emerging field of cognitive computing. As the head of Watson Transformations, Mr. Nelson oversees the development and implementation of innovative business models using computing systems with uniquely human processing capabilities.                            

Work experience


Vice President & COO, Watson Transformations

IBM Watson Group

IBM's Watson Group is driving the next generation of cognitive computing systems. We are helping our clients take advantage of these new technologies to explore new business models and interact with customers in new ways.


Master's degree, Electrical Engineering

University of Virginia