Keller Center - Educating Leaders for a Technology-Driven Society

Leadership Dialogue with Chris Cerf, NJ Acting Commissioner of Education

Leadership Dialogue with Chris Cerf, NJ Acting Commissioner of Education

Chris Cerf Event Poster

Speaker: Chris Cerf, New Jersey Acting  Commissioner, Department of Education

Date: Monday, November 28, 2011

Time: 5 p.m. (CONFIRMED)

Location: Carl A. Fields Center Room 104 (campus map)

Other: Reception to follow


The Keller Center and the Pace Center for Civic Engagement are pleased to welcome New Jersey Acting Commissioner of Education Chris Cerf to the Princeton University campus on Monday, November 28, 2011. Cerf, who was sworn in as commissioner on January 18 of this year, oversees 2,500 public schools, 1.4 million students, and 110,000 teachers in over 600 school districts.‪ At this event, he will discuss leadership challenges and opportunities for the future of America's education system. The Keller Center's Visiting Professor John Danner will facilitate the conversation. 

This event, which is part of the Keller Center's Leadership Dialogue Series, is sponsored by the Keller Center and the Pace Center for Civic Engagement, and made possible with generous support by the William Pierson Field Lectureship Fund. A reception will follow.

About Commissioner Cerf
A nationally-recognized expert in comprehensive school system reform, Commissioner Cerf is committed to advancing excellence and equity in our public education system.  He is focused on closing New Jersey's academic achievement gap while substantially raising the achievement level of all New Jersey students.  Commissioner Cerf is working to make New Jersey's education system, already one of the best-performing systems in the country, into one focused on accelerating student learning, expanding quality choice offerings, and preparing students for college and careers.‪

Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Cerf was the CEO of Sangari Global Education, which offers innovative education programming to more than 500,000 students worldwide. Between 2004 and 2009, he was Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education where he oversaw organizational strategy, innovation, labor relations and all matters pertaining to recruiting, supporting, developing and evaluating the nearly 80,000 teachers and 1,450 principals who work in the nation's largest school district.  Previously, as a partner in the Public Private Strategy Group, he served as New York City Chancellor Joel Klein's Chief Advisor on Transformation, where he led efforts to redesign the financial and organizational structure of the nation's largest school district.‪‪

Commissioner 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, Cerf served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.  He graduated from the Broad Urban Superintendents Academy in 2004.  Prior to attending law school, he spent four years as a high school history teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio.