Christie Said to Pick Christopher Cerf for New Jersey's Top Education Post

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will nominate Christopher Cerf, a former deputy chancellor of the New York City school system, to be state commissioner of education, said an individual with direct knowledge of the appointment who requested anonymity.

Christie, a first-term Republican, fired his last education commissioner, Bret Schundler, after the state lost out on a $400 million federal Race to the Top education grant. The governor will make the announcement next week, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The appointment must be approved by the state Senate.

Cerf, 56, a resident of Montclair, left his New York City post in 2009 to work on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s re-election campaign. He is chief executive officer of Sangari Global Education, a New York-based firm that offers support in science learning to more than 500,000 students worldwide, according to the firm’s web site. Cerf also served eight years as president of New York-based Edison Schools Inc., a private operator of public schools, after working as its general counsel from 1997 through 1999.

The appointment was reported yesterday by the Wall Street Journal.

Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for Christie, declined to comment on or verify the selection today. Cerf also declined to discuss the reports when reached by telephone today.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Dunstan McNichol in Trenton, New Jersey, at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at

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