Merkt earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Master of Arts in Religious Studies prior to first coming to the Middle East in 1986. After spending several years teaching in Egypt, he returned to the U.S. for a Masters in International Business Studies, with a language track concentration in Arabic. In 1992, he returned to work in marketing, first in the Gulf Cooperation Council with a large global consumer products firm, and then as Marketing Director to help turnaround a Saudi firm within the same industry. After completing his doctoral studies in Organizational Behavior, he taught in various locations before coming to AUIS. Merkt's focus at AUIS is on teaching and service. Subjects taught by him include business ethics, management, marketing and human resource management.