Dr. Merten served as George Mason University's fifth president. Since he entered into that position in March 1996, George Mason University has gained national and international acclaim for a number of significant initiatives and achievements. Dr. Merten has developed a strong partnership with companies in Northern Virginia Technology, to position GMU as the primary source of a highly qualified and skilled workforce.
Dr. Merten was chair of the National Research Council's Committee on Workforce Needs in Information Technology. He serves on a number of academic and industry advisory boards, including those of C² Technologies, Inc., the Center for Innovative Technology, and the Northern Virginia Technology Council.
Dr. Merten has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, a Master's degree in computer science from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in computer science from Wisconsin.