President & CEO
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.
It’s Not About Tuition, It’s About Mo’ Money
Over at PA Independent, Stacy Brown has an important story on the ongoing fight over Gov. Corbett’s budget proposal. There, Duquesne University professor Antony Davies, a member of CF’s…
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Not a Joke: Learn from Louisiana
Here in Pennsylvania, we like to think we’re better than states like Louisiana. Those folks used to have slaves, but our founder was a Quaker. They’re poor, but we’re rich. …
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Taxes & Economy
Calvin Coolidge, Tom Corbett, and Why Politics Isn’t Like Business
My wife is awesome. As proof, I submit to you the fact that she willingly parted with 35 bucks in order to give me The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge for…
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A Word on Hellholes
As I got in the car yesterday to begin a very long drive home from Pike County, I learned of a letter Sen. Vincent Hughes had sent requesting that I…
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Dear Reluctant Rural Republican…
A friend just forwarded me some objections offered by a Republican member of the House of Representatives from a rural area who’s reluctant to support a comprehensive school choice bill…
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Radical Reform Required…Now!
My friend Nick Pandelidis, a physician and entrepreneur in York, has published an excellent piece on school choice in the York Daily Record. After recounting much data, he concludes:…
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The Right Questions for Penn State
Stacy Brown of the Pennsylvania Independent—which, in the interests of full disclosure, CF launched but no longer controls in any way—is asking the right questions this morning in his…
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Thank You, Friends of Freedom
Less than two weeks ago, CF announced to our supporters a goal of raising $225,000 by year’s end. They have already supplied $54,487.76. Talk about Thanksgiving…I’m thankful! And if you would…
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The Lesson of Ohio Might Not Be What You Think
The Wall Street Journal recently featured a very short, very striking piece on the defeat of much-needed limits on the power of government unions in Ohio. The conventional wisdom on…
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School Choice Saves, School Choice Sells
Harrisburg is atwitter this morning as the Senate Education Committee is voting on school choice legislation. Let’s quickly rebut three myths that are circulating: School choice saves money. It’s…
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Want a 70% Approval Rating?
Let’s be real. One of the things that often gets CF into trouble is that from the outside, it seems like we never need to worry about whether the free-market…
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Pennsylvania’s Public Universities Have Indigestion
If you ask them, they'll say they're hurting because budget-slashing Gov. Tom Corbett just forced something nasty down their throats—namely cuts to the subsidies they receive from Keystone State taxpayers. …
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This Is What a Boom Looks Like
About half an hour ago, I was in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. (For my fellow natives of the Philadelphia area, Canonsburg is southwest of Pittsburgh, where they say “younse” instead of “youse”…
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Taxes & Economy
Who’s Nutty Now?
There’s a ton of chatter out there right now about how nutty the Tea Party is, most recently with 29 percent of voters saying Tea Party members are “economic…
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Penn State’s Smallest Tuition Hike in Years
The conventional wisdom ever since March 8, when Gov. Tom Corbett made his budget address, has been very simple: The sky is falling! How, exactly? In the form of crippling…
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President Obama Is Right
Savor that headline, because you won’t see it on this blog too often. But it’s true. As our friend Lindsey Burke at the Heritage Foundation points out, today at…
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Will the “Year of School Choice” Come to PA?
Today’s Wall Street Journal has an editorial that begins as follows: School may be out for the summer, but school choice is in, as states across the nation…
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Cut Waste at This Temple, and I Will Praise It in Three Days
Temple University just announced that it is raising tuition by ten percent, blaming the new state budget. Temple is an outstanding example of an institution that should have spent…
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Are Tuition Hikes Forced by Cuts in State Subsidies?
Today, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) voted to raise tuition by 7.5 percent for 2011-12. Many have tried to place the blame solely on the reduction…
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Don’t Fall for the False Choice on Tuition and Taxpayers
I see that right now, our legislators are once again debating cuts to the generous subsidies our public universities receive from taxpayers. Some are claiming that if the cuts pass,…
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The Governor is Right and the Union Bosses are Wrong
I’m in Pittsburgh today, but I can hear the shouting in Harrisburg from here: Union bosses are hopping mad at Gov. Tom Corbett for calling them out in his…
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