Charles Mitchell

Charles Mitchell

President & CEO

Charles Mitchell is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Commonwealth Foundation.

Charles grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs in a family of railroaders, teachers, and small business owners. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania’s public schools, Bucknell University, the Koch Associate Program, and the Claremont Institute’s Publius Fellowship.

Charles first became associated with the Commonwealth Foundation when he was a college newspaper editor under attack for defending free speech. He became a Commonwealth Foundation investor in 2006, joined the staff as Chief Operations Officer in 2010, and became CEO in 2016. During that time, he has been honored with the State Policy Network’s Overton Award and the Heritage Foundation’s Distinguished Intern Alumni Award and recognized as one of City & State Pennsylvania Forty Under 40 Rising Stars.

In addition to his Commonwealth Foundation responsibilities, Charles serves as an elder of his family’s church, a founder of Threefold Schoolhouse: An Acton Academy, president of the Open Discourse Coalition, and a board member of Americans for Fair Treatment and the Franklin News Foundation.

Charles lives in the Harrisburg area with his wife and their four daughters.

Op-Ed: The last line of defense against a governor’s overreach

  • Charles Mitchell
  • January 19, 2021

Pennsylvanians understand the dangers of COVID-19. Sadly, they also fear how Wolf’s unilateral powers imperil their future. That’s why the state Legislature, whose members just heard from their constituents during…

Commentary

Read More: Op-Ed: The last line of defense against a governor’s overreach

Government Accountability

Pa. Supreme Court Grants Governor Unchecked Emergency Powers

  • Charles Mitchell, Michael Torres
  • July 1, 2020

July 1, 2020, Harrisburg, Pa. — The Pa. Supreme Court ignored the commonwealth’s tradition of checks and balances between branches of government in a ruling on a lawsuit between…

Press Release

Read More: Pa. Supreme Court Grants Governor Unchecked Emergency Powers

Government Accountability

Pa. Shutdown Revolt Met with Threats from Governor

  • Charles Mitchell
  • May 11, 2020

May 11, 2020, Harrisburg, Pa. — After this weekend's news that at least eight counties in Pennsylvania would no longer participate in the governor's reopening directives, Gov. Wolf has…

Press Release

Read More: Pa. Shutdown Revolt Met with Threats from Governor

Government Accountability

Wolf’s Budget Borrows Billions and Attacks Schools of Choice

  • Charles Mitchell
  • February 4, 2020

February 4, 2020, Harrisburg, Pa. — Today, Gov. Wolf outlined a massive spending and borrowing plan in his annual budget address. The $36.1 billion proposed General Fund Budget represents a…

Press Release

Read More: Wolf’s Budget Borrows Billions and Attacks Schools of Choice

Government Accountability

CF Responds to Pa. House Speaker Mike Turzai’s Retirement

  • Charles Mitchell
  • January 23, 2020

January 23, 2020, Harrisburg, Pa.—Today, Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Mike Turzai announced he will not seek reelection at the end of his term. Turzai, an outspoken…

Press Release

Read More: CF Responds to Pa. House Speaker Mike Turzai’s Retirement

Education

Students Need Scholarships, Not Vetoes

  • Charles Mitchell
  • June 27, 2019

While the governor has repeatedly voiced support for freeing students from zip code-assigned schools that aren’t meeting their needs, he vetoed a sorely needed expansion of Pennsylvania’s scholarship…

Commentary

Read More: Students Need Scholarships, Not Vetoes

Public Union Democracy

For Union Members, Knowledge is Power

  • Charles Mitchell
  • April 8, 2019

Francisco Molina is standing up for himself and other public workers because he believes everyone deserves the opportunity to know and act on their rights. That’s the kind of bedrock…

Commentary

Read More: For Union Members, Knowledge is Power

Criminal Justice Reform

Can Criminal Justice Reform Unite America?

  • Charles Mitchell
  • February 5, 2019

The following op-ed first appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Are partisan division and political bickering unavoidable in American politics? The headlines make it seem so, but it’s not true.

Media

Read More: Can Criminal Justice Reform Unite America?

Remembering Yvonne Morgan

  • Charles Mitchell
  • January 28, 2019

I have been blessed with some amazing moms in my life, and Yvonne Morgan—my “BUCC Mom”—was one of them. …

Commentary

Read More: Remembering Yvonne Morgan

Criminal Justice Reform

Tough on Crime, Smart on Justice

  • Charles Mitchell
  • January 9, 2019

Commentators called it a “Christmas miracle.” In late December, Congressional Republicans and Democrats cooperated to pass the FIRST STEP Act, America’s most significant federal sentencing and prison reform…

Media

Read More: Tough on Crime, Smart on Justice

Public Union Democracy

Time to Shed Light on New Workers’ Rights

  • Charles Mitchell
  • September 11, 2018

This Labor Day marks ten weeks since the Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that government employees should not be forced to pay a union or risk losing their…

Media

Read More: Time to Shed Light on New Workers’ Rights

Public Union Democracy

Government Workers’ Rights Restored

  • Charles Mitchell
  • July 18, 2018

In Janus v. AFSCME, the Supreme Court righted a decades-old wrong, striking down a coercive system and clearing a pathway for 330,000 Pennsylvania government workers to regain their long-denied First…

Commentary

Read More: Government Workers’ Rights Restored

Education

A Choice for All Students

  • Charles Mitchell
  • June 10, 2018

Barbara “Annie” Jackson waitresses at Roxy's Café just a short walk away from the Capitol building in Harrisburg. Eight months pregnant, Annie serves steaming plates of eggs and mugs of hot coffee…

Media

Read More: A Choice for All Students

Taxes & Economy

Federal Tax Reform Helps Middle-Class Families

  • Charles Mitchell
  • December 18, 2017

Hardworking families in Pennsylvania are burdened by an onerous federal tax structure that hinders rather than promotes economic growth and prosperity. That’s why Congress is working to overhaul the broken…

Commentary

Read More: Federal Tax Reform Helps Middle-Class Families