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.

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

Investor Profile: Chet Beiler

  • Charles Mitchell
  • February 14, 2017

Chet Beiler runs the nation’s leading gazebo retailer and, along with his wife, Sharon, is a longtime supporter of the Commonwealth Foundation. Recently, Charles Mitchell sat down with Chet at…

Commentary

Read More: Investor Profile: Chet Beiler

Criminal Justice Reform

Keystone Criminal Justice

  • Charles Mitchell
  • July 19, 2016

As lifelong conservatives, we’re proud to call ourselves tough on crime and to support lengthy prison terms for dangerous felons. But after a long, taxpayer-funded era of mass incarceration, it’s…

Commentary

Read More: Keystone Criminal Justice

Tom Smith: A Patriot and Friend

  • Charles Mitchell
  • October 17, 2015

Tom Smith’s tenacity, courage, and leadership have encouraged our entire team to keep at it on the days when we are tempted to give up. Tom put countless miles on his cowboy…

Commentary

Read More: Tom Smith: A Patriot and Friend

They’re Complaining Because We’re Convincing

  • Charles Mitchell
  • December 9, 2014

This morning’s Harrisburg Patriot-News includes an item that gives unfortunate credence to tired and lame allegations made by critics who are upset with CF’s effectiveness about our research…

Media

Read More: They’re Complaining Because We’re Convincing

Public Union Democracy

Who’s Strangling Whom?

  • Charles Mitchell
  • August 7, 2013

Jodi Hirsh wants you to believe that a shadowy, deep-pocketed, Washington-based organization called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has a “stranglehold on our statehouse.”  That’s the claim Ms. Hirsh,…

Media

Read More: Who’s Strangling Whom?

Education

Handouts Hurting Poor, Help Up a Better Way

  • Charles Mitchell
  • December 12, 2012

The holidays are a great time to be grateful for the gifts we've received.  And, as we remember well, fallen Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney claimed that some Americans have…

Commentary

Read More: Handouts Hurting Poor, Help Up a Better Way

Public Union Democracy

New York? Fuhgeddaboudit. Lansing!

  • Charles Mitchell
  • December 7, 2012

As I write this, most of Pennsylvania’s political glitterati has its mind on New York City, where the annual Pennsylvania Society gathering is underway. But my mind is on…

Media

Read More: New York? Fuhgeddaboudit. Lansing!

State Budget

Lowe’s Shows Dignity of Work, Helps Disabled

  • Charles Mitchell
  • October 11, 2012

The Union Party never minces words:  They believe the best way to help people is to grow government.  That’s the message they’ve brought to bear throughout the Corbett Administration,…

Media

Read More: Lowe’s Shows Dignity of Work, Helps Disabled

Public Union Democracy

Taxpayer Tornado Sweeps Through Kansas, Union Party Swept Away

  • Charles Mitchell
  • August 8, 2012

What’s one of the few things stranger than a CF staffer reading the Huffington Post? Easy.  A CF staffer reading on the Huffington Post about a great victory for the…

Media

Read More: Taxpayer Tornado Sweeps Through Kansas, Union Party Swept Away

Taxes & Economy

This Independence Day, You and I Have No Right

  • Charles Mitchell
  • July 4, 2012

This morning, spurred by a blog post by Bill Kristol, I’ve been reading an Independence Day oration given by the famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass in 1852, during the run-up to…

Media

Read More: This Independence Day, You and I Have No Right

Education

Temple Tuition Tamp-Down Shows Wake-Up Calls Work

  • Charles Mitchell
  • June 29, 2012

During last year’s budget season, I was pretty critical of Temple University for raising tuition by ten percent while its administrators joined in the Chicken Little routine (“The sky…

Media

Read More: Temple Tuition Tamp-Down Shows Wake-Up Calls Work

Education

Would You Rather Kids Share Books, or Get Booked?

  • Charles Mitchell
  • June 26, 2012

I’m writing right now from the road, specifically from the poorest city in America:  Reading, Pennsylvania.  Reading is one of the cities mentioned in today’s CF news release pointing…

Media

Read More: Would You Rather Kids Share Books, or Get Booked?

Education

The Patriot Can Do Better Than This…

  • Charles Mitchell
  • May 2, 2012

Our friends at The Patriot-News here in Harrisburg just posted an online poll that asks the following question: The state Senate has passed a school voucher bill that…

Media

Read More: The Patriot Can Do Better Than This…

Taxes & Economy

What Does the Primary Earthquake Mean?

  • Charles Mitchell
  • April 25, 2012

I’m writing to you from Pittsburgh, which was, in a certain sense, ground zero of last night’s primary earthquake. Last night, I watched Tom Smith—who has made it a matter…

Media

Read More: What Does the Primary Earthquake Mean?

Education

I’m Bringing Some Gumbo to the State Capitol

  • Charles Mitchell
  • April 5, 2012

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal refused to let government unions push him around.  His reward?  A sweet victory not just for himself, but for the taxpayers, parents, and students of…

Media

Read More: I’m Bringing Some Gumbo to the State Capitol

Healthcare

Not Why I’m Here

  • Charles Mitchell
  • March 30, 2012

“Why am I here?”  That’s an excellent question to ask yourself if you work in Harrisburg.  This week, as I read a piece by Karen Langley in the Pittsburgh…

Media

Read More: Not Why I’m Here

Education

Violent, Failing Schools Will Lead to Unsafe, Ailing America

  • Charles Mitchell
  • March 21, 2012

That’s the upshot of a story in this morning’s Wall Street Journal.  It begins: Flaws in U.S. schools are increasingly causing a national-security risk, producing adults without the…

Media

Read More: Violent, Failing Schools Will Lead to Unsafe, Ailing America

Education

Principled, Punchy Pols Are Popular Pols

  • Charles Mitchell
  • March 15, 2012

I’ve written previously in this space about Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has garnered enormous popularity while governing courageously.  Today, with a new Quinnipiac poll about Gov.

Media

Read More: Principled, Punchy Pols Are Popular Pols