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Dr. Merrill has been executive director of the National Academies Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP) since its formation in 1991, and is a former professional staff member to the U.S. Congress. At the Academies, he has been instrumental in developing the STEP program into an important discussion forum and authoritative voice on technology and other microeconomic policies. He has directed several STEP projects and publications, including Investing in Productivity and Prosperity (1994) and Securing America’s Industrial Strength (1999), and co-authored a frequently-cited analysis of the changing field distribution of federal research support in the 1990s which appeared in Science magazine.
Dr. Merrill directed the Academies’ first government and congressional liaison office, and until 1995 served concurrently as executive director of the STEP Board and the Office of Government and External Affairs. Previously, he was a Fellow in International Business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and spent seven years, until 1981, on various congressional staffs, most recently that of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.