As New Jersey's Commissioner of Education, Mr. Cerf oversees 2,500 public schools, 1.4 million students, and 110,000 teachers in over 600 school districts. 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. Before assuming that role, 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, which managed 150 public schools in 19 states and provided 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. 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.