Christopher D. Cerf

Commissioner to the New Jersey Department of Education



Christopher Cerf was named acting commissioner to the New Jersey Department of Education by NJ Governor Chris Christie on January 18, 2011. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Cerf was the CEO of Sangari Global Education, which offers innovative education programming to over 500,000 students worldwide. He also served as senior campaign advisor to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Between 2004 and 2009, Mr. Cerf was Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education where his portfolio included organizational strategy, external relations and innovation. In that capacity, he oversaw labor relations and all matters pertaining to recruiting, supporting, developing and evaluating the nearly 80,000 teachers and 1450 principals who work in the NYC DOE.

As a partner in the Public Private Strategy Group, which advises school districts pursuing comprehensive reform strategies, Mr. Cerf served as the chief advisor on transportation for New York City Education Chancellor Joel Klein. He built and managed a team of external experts and internal managers charged with re-visioning the financial and organizational structure of the nation’s largest school district, with 1,450 schools, serving 1.1 million children with an annual operating budget of $20 billion.

Mr. Cerf served for eight years as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Edison Schools, Inc, the nation's largest private-sector manager of public schools, operating 150 schools in 19 states and providing other educational services in an additional 700 schools in both the U.S. and Great Britain. He earlier served as Associate Counsel to President Clinton and as a partner in two Washington, D.C., law firms. A graduate of Amherst College and Columbia Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, Mr. Cerf served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Prior to attending law school, he spent four years as a high school history teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated from the Broad Urban Superintendents Academy in 2004.

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