Commander Zeita Merchant, PhD Open Access
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Commander Zeita Merchant, PhD, is currently the Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago and has served on active duty in the Coast Guard for more than 20 years. She was previously Special Assistant to the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, and has also held the positions of Executive Officer of Marine Safety Unit Texas City, Supervisor, Port of Miami Field Office, and Chief of Port Operations at US Coast Guard Sector Miami. From 2010 to 2012, Commander Merchant served as a Congressional Fellow in the US House of Representatives. She graduated with honors from Tougaloo College with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and received her Master of Quality Systems Management from the National Graduate School in 2003, her Master of Public Administration from the Trachtenberg School in 2010, and her Doctorate in Business Administration from the National Graduate School in 2011. Commander Merchant has been honored with many professional, academic, and community service awards throughout her career, including no less than eleven medals for her service in the Coast Guard, and is a recognized authority in the field of Marine Safety, Emergency, and Environmental Management.