Merrill Eisenhower Atwater joined People to People International as the Chief Operating Officer in January 2018 and in April of that same year, he became Chief Executive Officer. Before joining People to People International he served as the Director of Aviation for the Kansas Department of Transportation.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in History and Interpersonal Communications from Missouri Western State University and in 2015 he received his master’s in business administration with an emphasis in international business relations from Baker University.
Mr. Atwater has previously served on several boards including: The Kansas Department of Transportation’s Executive Staff, NASAO Board of Directors, the Kansas Freight Advisory Committee, Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Aviation System Planning, Standing Committee on Airfield and Airspace Capacity and Delay, Standing Committee on Intergovernmental Relations in Aviation and a sub-committee on UAS Integration into the national air space. He currently sits on the board for the Dean’s Council of Kansas State University (Salina) and the Freight Advisory Council.
Mr. Atwater has received numerous awards and recognitions. In 2016 he was recognized as one of the most influential and accomplished leaders of business in the “40 under 40” designation in the KC Metro area. In 2017 he won the Aviation Impact Award from the FAA and his team was awarded the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO’s) Center for Aviation Research and Education Award for their work on creating STEM curriculum for use in high schools throughout the State of Kansas. In 2019 he was awarded the title of Honorary Ambassador of Chuncheon City in South Korea. In 2020 he was recognized in The Marquis Who’s Who Publication Board for professional integrity, outstanding achievement in his field. In 2020, he received recognition for his work at People to People International for his Distinguished Service.