Biography Gerry Scharfenberger, Ph.D. is the Acting Executive Director of the New Jersey Business Action Center and Director of the Office for Planning Advocacy (OPA) for the State of NJ. In that role, he oversees the operation of the OPA and develops and recommends policies and priorities designed to implement State planning policies, programs and practices.
In his role as Director of the OPA, Dr. Scharfenberger has spoken at numerous events sponsored by such respected planning organizations as the New Jersey Planning Officials, County Planning Association, New Jersey League of Municipalities, NJAPA, NJASLA and Sustainable Raritan River conferences. Prior to joining the Christie administration, Gerry had a long career as a professional archaeologist, working mainly in the Northeast and lecturing throughout the United States, Canada and England. He holds a Master's degree from Hunter College and received his Doctorate in 2005 from the CUNY Graduate Center with a dual focus on historical archaeology and cultural landscape studies. He currently is a member of the adjunct faculty of Monmouth University in West Long Branch.
Gerry has been serving on the Middletown Township Committee since 2005. He is currently a member of the Middletown Township Committee (first elected in 2004) where he has served as Mayor in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2017 and Deputy Mayor in 2006 and 2009. Gerry has been a member of the Landmarks Commission since 1996 and was appointed Chairman in 2012, and currently serves on the Middletown Township Open Space Committee and the Municipal Alliance for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse. He also serves on the Monmouth County Greenhouse Gas Reduction Committee. He served as the Township Committee's liaison to the Bayshore Dredge Committee in 2006, on the Zoning Board of Adjustment in 2003 and 2004 and on Governor-elect Chris Christie's transition team. Gerry has lived in Middletown for more than 23 years with his wife, Geraldine, and their two children.