Zeita Merchant is a Maritime Transportation and Emergency Management specialist who recently commanded USCG Marine Safety Unit Chicago executing the Coast Guard’s Port Safety and Security, Marine Environmental Protection, and Commercial Vessel Safety missions. As one of the Coast Guard’s top Emergency Managers, she deployed as Incident Commander to Texas and Puerto Rico during the unprecedented 2017 hurricane season to oversee response operations and maritime transportation reconstitution. Previously, she served as the Special Assistant to the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C. She also served as Executive Officer of USCG Marine Safety Unit Texas City, TX, and led maritime operations in Miami, FL and New Orleans, LA. Zeita is a Coast Guard Governmental Affairs Officer and served as a Military Congressional Fellow for the U.S. House of Representatives on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Tougaloo College, a Master of Science in Quality Systems Management from the National Graduate School, a Master of Arts in Public Administration from George Washington University; and a Doctorate in Business Administration.  In addition, she served as a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar XXI Fellow. Research interests include cyber security in supply chain management, talent management and cryptocurrency use in the maritime domain.

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