Senior Staff Biographies

David C. Hespe -- Commissioner

The New Jersey Senate confirmed David Hespe as Commissioner of Education on December 15, 2014.

Mr. Hespe is an accomplished leader with decades of public service in New Jersey. His prior service at the Department included working as the Education Commissioner from 1999 through 2001; Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Executive Services from 1997 to 1998; and Chief of Staff during the first term of the Christie Administration.

Commissioner Hespe returned to service in the Department of Education because he believes we all share a very simple goal – to help the nearly 1.4 million students in New Jersey's schools grow and excel so they can be adequately prepared for college and careers. He oversees the continued implementation of the Common Core State Standards, the new teacher and principal evaluation system, the transition to online testing as developed by the PARCC consortium, and building innovative models of education that meet 21st century requirements.

In addition to his experience at the Department of Education, Commissioner Hespe most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Burlington County College, overseeing an enrollment of more than 10,000 students across four campuses. He also served as an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Rowan University's College of Education, where he was Department Chair for five years. As the former Assistant Superintendent and later Interim Superintendant of Schools for the Willingboro School District, he oversaw the administration of all activities of the district and the development and implementation of its programs and goals.

Mr. Hespe also developed and implemented STEM-based educational programs, activities and content for Liberty Science Center during his tenure there as Co-Executive Director and Vice President of STEM Education. His invaluable knowledge and experience in STEM-based programs and activities helped to increase interest and awareness of the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics curricula and programs – all of which are crucial components to ensuring that New Jersey's students are ready to compete in a global economy.

Commissioner Hespe holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Rutgers University and a Law Degree from the University of Rutgers-Newark. He began his career as a law clerk at the Mercer County Superior Court and then joined a private law firm before entering public service in 1989 as Associate Counsel at the New Jersey Office of Legislative Services. Mr. Hespe went on to serve as Assistant Counsel in Governor Whitman's Office and later served as First Assistant Attorney General.

He and his wife Cindy have a son in college.

Bari Anhalt Erlichson -- Chief Performance Officer/Assistant Commissioner of Data, Research, Evaluation and Reporting

Bari Erlichson oversees school and district performance and accountability, the development of the state’s student-level, longitudinal data system, and research and evaluation efforts. A former professor at Rutgers University, Dr. Erlichson has conducted research in many topic areas, including school reform, education policy implementation, school funding, and governance. She is a co-author of the book, Multiethnic Moments: the Politics of Urban Education Reform (Temple University Press, 2006), as well as a contributor to several edited volumes and journals. Prior to joining the department, she taught fifth grade in Plainfield, New Jersey after having been a student teacher in the Newark Public Schools. Bari holds a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University, an M.A. in Education Administration and Policy from the Stanford School of Education, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.

Robert Bumpus -- Assistant Commissioner Field Services Division

As the Assistant Commissioner for Field Services, Robert Bumpus has general supervisory responsibilities for the County Administrative Unit, the Division of Finance and Facilities and the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Compliance.  He has also served in various NJDOE positions, including Executive Director of Regional Achievement Center 7 and Executive County Superintendent in Salem and Gloucester Counties.   He has served school districts in varied roles including teacher, assistant principal, principal, and superintendent.   He earned his MA and BA from Rowan University and is certified as a social studies and language arts teacher, as well as a principal and school administrator.  Mr. Bumpus enjoys exercising on a regular basis and spending time with his family.

Kimberley Harrington -- Chief Academic Officer/Assistant Commissioner Division of Academics

As the Chief Academic Officer, Kimberley Harrington has general supervisory responsibilities of the Division of Academics.  She previously served as the Director of Academic Standards for the NJDOE.  Kimberley has served school districts as a teacher -- all grades K-8 -- and as a Director of Curriculum and Instruction.  She earned her MA in Education Leadership from The College of New Jersey and her BS in Elementary Education from Gordon College.  She holds the following certifications:  teacher, supervisor, and principal.  Kimberley is the proud parent of two sons.  She enjoys spending time with her children and playing music.

Susan Martz -- Assistant Commissioner Student Services and Career Readiness

Susan Martz is the Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Student Services and Career Readiness and has served in a variety of leadership roles since joining the New Jersey Department of Education in 1988, including director of the Office of Student Support Services, director of the Office of Grants Management and Development and assistant manager in the Office of Special Education.  Prior to joining the Department, Ms. Martz was a vice-principal and a teacher of students with multiple disabilities. She holds a EdM in educational psychology from Rutgers Graduate School of Education, a BA in psychology/criminal justice from Rutgers University and New Jersey certifications, including School Administrator, Principal/Supervisor, teacher of students with disabilities, elementary school teacher and nursery school teacher.

Ms. Martz currently oversees the Offices of Special Education Programs, Student Support Services, Supplemental Educational Programs, Career and Technical Education and Project and Grants Management.  All of the offices focus on helping schools provide the programs and differentiated supports that all students need to be prepared for a successful post-secondary education or career experience. The offices are responsible for state and federal programs serving the needs of the students with disabilities; economically disadvantaged, homeless, migrant and limited English proficient students and students with health and conduct issues.  The Division also supports life and career standards, career and technical education programs, student health services, positive school climate, and quality after school programs.

Evo Popoff -- Chief Innovation Officer/Assistant Commissioner Division of Charter Schools, School Choice, and Educational Technology

Evo Popoff is Chief Innovation Officer and an Assistant Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Education. Prior to joining the Department, Popoff served as the Senior Vice President of Achievement Solutions at EdisonLearning, Inc., where he supported public schools and districts across the country by developing and implementing innovative solutions to improve outcomes for students. When Mr. Popoff joined the Edison Learning organization in 2004, he helped to develop and manage the organization's school improvement, turnaround and online learning and assessment solutions. Over the course of his employment, he devoted much of his time to working closely with states, districts and schools to help them develop and implement effective school turnaround, after-school, online and blended-learning programs.

Before beginning his career in education, Mr. Popoff practiced law at McDermott, Will & Emery where he worked on labor and employment, antitrust and general corporate issues.

Mr. Popoff holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.

Peter Shulman -- Chief Talent Officer/Assistant Commissioner of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness

Peter Shulman joined the New Jersey Department of Education as the Chief Talent Officer in November 2011.  Prior to joining the department, Peter led the Teacher Leader Effectiveness Unit at the Delaware Department of Education, where he oversaw the teacher and leader effectiveness initiatives that are part of Delaware's successful bid for a Race to the Top award.  Peter also served in the School District of Philadelphia and the Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida, where he served as Administrative Director in Human Resources.  He has experience both at large urban school districts and a state education department.  His work will center on helping to strengthen policy and practice around the recruitment, evaluation, development and retention of effective teachers and school leaders. He will have a range of responsibility that includes overseeing the department’s educator effectiveness work and rollout of the new teacher evaluation system. Peter will also spearhead work with graduate schools of education to ensure that their graduates are effectively prepared to achieve the mission of preparing all students in New Jersey to graduate from high school ready for college and career. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.