SESP Faculty Member Jerry Stermer Named Illinois Comptroller

SESP Faculty Member Jerry Stermer Named Illinois Comptroller

Jerry Stermer

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn named longtime aide Jerry Stermer, a School of Education and Social Policy adjunct faculty member, to succeed the late Judy Baar Topinka as Illinois comptroller. Stermer, who was sworn into office on Friday, has been serving as Quinn’s budget director and earlier had been chief of staff from 2009 to 2010.  

Stermer says he will serve as comptroller until January 12 to assure continuity for the state and then will step down to allow Governor-elect Bruce Rauner to appoint a new comptroller for part or all of Topinka’s term. Topinka died this month after being elected to a four-year term in November.

Stermer will teach SESP undergraduate courses during both winter and spring quarters. He teaches Introduction to Social Policy and Reforming State Government.

As a SESP instructor, Stermer brings to students his policy understandings based on his long career in government and his many years serving as a child advocate through Voices for Illinois Children and other organizations.

For 22 years Stermer was president of Voices for Illinois Children, a child welfare organization that works with families, communities and policymakers to improve the lives of children.

Stermer has also held leadership positions with a number of government and private groups concerned with policy reform. He has been a member of the executive committee of the Illinois Early Learning Council and chaired the Illinois Child Support Advisory Committee. He has also served on the boards of the Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation, Voices for America's Children, the United Way of Illinois, the Governor's Task Force on Human Services Reform and the 21st Century Commission of the City of Chicago.

Earlier in his career, Stermer served in state government in roles related to child and family policy. He was at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services from 1973 to 1979 and was executive director of the Legislative Advisory Committee on Public Aid from 1979 to 1985. He was the supervisor of government affairs for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago from 1985 to 1987 and a Peace Corps volunteer from 1968 to 1970. He holds a master's degree in political science from the University of Illinois.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 12/23/14