Jeff Johannesen

Jeff Johannesen

Office of Transition Leader, Partner

About Jeff

Jeff Johannesen is the leader of the office of transition at RSM US LLP. He is formerly the firm’s chief strategy and innovation officer and national tax leader in addition to being a past member of the RSM US LLP Board of Directors.


Jeff joined RSM in 1981 as an auditor, transferred to the tax department and became a partner in 1989.

As the office of transition leader, he is responsible for leading efforts to transition key leadership roles on the firm’s management team, including leading the interview and selection process, and working with incoming and outgoing leaders to ensure a smooth transfer of authority and responsibilities.

Prior to his current role, Jeff served as chief strategy and innovation officer since 2017. He was responsible for the development, communication, execution and sustainability of the firm’s strategic objectives. He led the firm to create intentionality around innovation at the enterprise level and also led a collaborative firm-wide effort to formalize RSM’s Vision 100 . . . Powered by our culture to evolve the strategy of the firm on the cusp of its 100th anniversary in 2026.

At RSM, innovation is not just about automation and technology. It also includes developing unique solutions to critical business challenges, fostering growth opportunities, and improving RSM’s work and client experience. As chief innovator, Jeff led efforts to intelligently automate manual processes to improve efficiencies and enhance services. RSM innovation aims to give employees time back in their day to focus on what’s most important, while providing clients more insight into their performance through data analytics. A collaborator by nature, Jeff was the executive sponsor for RSM’s first enterprise-wide Innovation Challenge, which sparked entrant ideas from across the firm.

Jeff has been involved in the development of RSM’s strategy for the past 11 years as part of the firm’s national leadership team since 2011. He has served as national tax leader, executive sponsor of the firm’s client experience initiative and strategic planning committee leader, and as member of the business planning committee, combined leadership team, RSM Inclusion Council, and other national steering committees. He serves as a formal mentor within the ¡HOLA! employee network group, an internal organization focused on attracting, retaining and empowering RSM's Hispanic and Latino employees.

Jeff grew up as an Iowa farm kid who decided to give the accounting profession a try. He accepted an entry-level job at McGladrey Hendrickson and Co. and thus began his 40-year career at RSM. An avid cyclist, Jeff helped launch the RSM cycling club, which now has over 400 members. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, hiking and cycling through the Iowa countryside.

Professional affiliations and designations

  • Certified public accountant
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Waukee Community Church and related ministries


  • Bachelor of Science, Southwest Minnesota State University