As executive director of the Fund for Academic Renewal (FAR), a program of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, Dr. Merrill works closely with donors to design, monitor and evaluate transformative gifts to higher education that meet their philanthropic objectives. Prior to assuming the leadership position at FAR, Merrill was vice president of development at ACTA, where she led the organizations fundraising efforts, working closely with individuals and foundations nationwide interested in improving academic quality, standards, and freedom.
Before joining ACTA, Merrill served on the faculties of St. John's College, a private liberal arts college in Annapolis, Maryland, known for its “Great Books” curriculum, and the College of William & Mary. She also has taught at Duke University, the University of Calgary, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, and in the college program at Maryland's only prison for women. Her essays on philanthropy and higher education have appeared in Philanthropy, Philanthropy Daily, and other forums.
Merrill earned her M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University and her B.A. from the University of Calgary.