Expert Profile

Christopher Cerf
Senior Education Adviser
Office of the Mayor of New York City

Christopher Cerf is the former Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. His portfolio includes organizational strategy, external relations (press, communications, politics, etc.), and all aspects of human capital. In that capacity, he oversees labor relations and all matters pertaining to recruiting, supporting, developing, and evaluating the nearly 80,000 teachers and 1450 principals who work in the DOE. Previously, he was a partner in the Public Private Strategy Group, which advises school districts pursuing comprehensive reform strategies. In that capacity, he served for a year as New York City Chancellor Joel Klein’s Chief Advisor on Transformation. As part of that effort, 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 (1450 schools, serving 1.1 million children with an annual operating budget of $17 billion) and working closely with the same team to implement the new design.

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. Mr. Cerf is a graduate of Amherst College and Columbia Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia Law Review, and 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. Mr. Cerf graduated from the Broad Urban Superintendents Academy in 2004.

Christopher Cerf's discussions:

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Sally Katzen University of Michigan Law School
Gerald Tirozzi National Association of Secondary School Principals
Marie Gryphon Center for Legal Policy, Manhattan Institute
Gary Burtless Brookings Institution
Mark Geistfeld New York University School of Law
Derek Bok Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government

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