TEDxEast: Basements, Barriers and Beliefs

Cami Anderson is a passionate and an established leader in the national education reform movement with more than 20 years’ of experience. In that time, she has taken on roles from teacher to non-profit executive to system-wide administrator.

In May of 2011, she was appointed State District Superintendent for Newark Public Schools by Governor Chris Christie, where she is responsible for raising student achievement for more than 40,000 students.

As chief executive of the largest school district in the state of New Jersey, Anderson oversees a budget of nearly $1 billion. She is accelerating innovation, initiating public private partnerships at unprecedented levels, and setting a new national model for the transformation of urban education in America. Under her tenure, Anderson negotiated a landmark contract with the Newark Teachers Union.

Prior to joining NPS, she was Superintendent of Alternative High Schools and Programs for the New York City Department of Education (District 79), consisting of approximately 30,000 young people and 60,000 adults. She received wide-scale recognition for her work with the city’s most struggling students. Anderson also served as executive director of Teach for America New York, where she founded a board of business and education leaders, increased teacher quality, and launched Teach for America Week.

She also served as Chief Program Officer for New Leaders for New Schools, which was recognized by Fast Company and Harvard Business School, Education Week, the US Department of Education, and the Teaching Commission as one of the most effective principal preparation programs in the country. Ms. Anderson also boasts a diverse background as a Montessori educator, youth theatre director, athlete, and Title IX advocate. She has been recognized for her dedication to expanding educational opportunities and empowering youth throughout her career.

Anderson was nominated for a national Teacher of the Year award, received the Peter Jennings Award for her impact on educational equity, belongs to the Aspen Global Leader Network, and was recently named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.” She graduated with a B.A. in education and anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A. in public policy and education from Harvard.