Her outstanding role during critical responses at sea has further solidified her reputation within the Coast Guard.
Captain Merchant’s operational expertise in marine incidents is equally commendable, having successfully managed scenarios such as an offshore collision of two loaded chemical tankers, a significant fuel spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and a joint interagency boarding resulting in the unit’s first-ever narcotic seizure valued at over $1.3 million.
Beyond her operational achievements, Captain Merchant holds an impressive academic background. She possesses a Doctorate of Business Administration, a Master of Quality Systems Management, a Master of Public Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from various institutions.
Additionally, she has honed her skills as a National Security Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Seminar XXI National Security and Foreign Affairs Fellow.
Captain Merchant is not only a trailblazer in her field but also an admirable role model. Her contributions extend to serving on the Maritime Industry Advisory Board of Texas Southern University’s Maritime Transportation Program, where she was a frequent guest speaker.
In her role as the Coast Guard’s Ambassador to the university, she played a vital role in enhancing outreach and recruitment of well-qualified students in science, engineering, technology, operations, logistics, and mathematics.