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michele merkle

Director for Air Traffic Services Operations Planning and Integration, Federal Aviation Administration

Michele Merkle serves as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Director for Air Traffic Services Operations Planning and Integration.  She is leading the air traffic community in the integration of new capabilities and emerging technologies into the National Airspace System (NAS).  Michele is responsible for preparing the air traffic controller workforce for change coming through the introduction of Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) and new entrants.  She leads the field in operational change management to achieve NextGen benefits.

Michele previously served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for NextGen where she was responsible for executing the mission of the NextGen organization and providing cross agency leadership in the development of NextGen.  Prior to that Michele served as the Director of NAS Systems Engineering and Integration for the FAA.  As Director she was responsible for architecting the evolution of the NAS and providing systems engineering leadership in delivering NextGen. 

Michele’s FAA experience spans every phase of the FAA’s Acquisition Management System—from concept development through implementation.  She directed the development and evolution of the NextGen Operational Concept, other NAS operational concepts such as the Future of the NAS and Vision for Trajectory Based Operations, and many of the NextGen capabilities currently being implemented. She has measured and mitigated new system impacts on users and ultimately achieved user acceptance of numerous air traffic control systems.

Michele has spent over 30 years providing engineering expertise and leadership in the development and evaluation of aviation systems.  She began her aviation career at Douglas Aircraft Company as a human factors engineer on the C-17 military transport aircraft.

Michele has a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research from Virginia Tech, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of South Florida.