Barnes & Thornburg LLP has named Steven Merkel chief operating officer. He is a retired U.S. Army colonel who joins the firm after serving as chief of operations for the United States Military Academy. Merkel will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the firm and its 13 offices, including finance, information technology, human resources, marketing and facilities. He will work closely with firm leadership and the management committee to create new efficiencies and increase quality across the firm’s processes and programs.

Earlier operational roles held by Merkel include brigade commander at the U.S. Military Academy; chief of operations for a multinational security force in Kabul, Afghanistan and chief of operations for the U.S First Army. In each position, he was responsible for building high-performing teams, managing multimillion dollar budgets, and overseeing and synchronizing fast-paced, multijurisdictional environments.

An Indiana native, Merkel also served in command and staff positions as part of his 30 years of military service, including brigade commander at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh and battalion commander of a field artillery battalion in Hinesville, Georgia.

He earned his B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy and master’s degrees from the U.S. Army Staff College and the U.S. Naval War College.

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