Prior to being named the new Executive Director of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Office, Peter “Jay” Merkle was the Deputy Vice President (DVP) of the Program Management Organization (PMO) within the Air Traffic Organization (ATO). The PMO is responsible for all NextGen program activity; all National Airspace System (NAS) communications; navigation, weather, surveillance & automation modernization programs; & all service life extensions to legacy NAS sensors, communications & navigation aids. Given the tight coupling between successful automation program delivery & current system operation, the PMO also leads & manages all second-level automation engineering efforts. Lastly, the PMO works with FAA operations & aviation users to ensure globally interoperable solutions for NextGen.
Previously, Merkle was the Director of Program Control & Integration, AJM-1, in the PMO for the ATO. In that capacity, he led the PMO in developing effective, timely, & innovative solutions to evolving business needs. The focus areas were program control, cross-cutting analysis & integration, & special initiatives.
Since joining the FAA, Merkle has served as the Manager of Systems Integration for Portfolio Management & Technology Development within the NextGen organization. He also has held positions as the Lead Engineer for tower, terminal, & en route automation systems, as the Chief System Engineer for En Route & Terminal Domains, & as the Chief Architect for NextGen at the Joint Planning & Development Office.
Merkle has over 30 years of extensive experience in engineering & program management. He started his career as an engineer working in cockpit & crew station design on several aircraft, including the C-17 large transport aircraft. Merkle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida & a Master's degree in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.