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.

Education

It’s Not About Tuition, It’s About Mo’ Money

  • Charles Mitchell
  • February 10, 2012

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…

Media

Read More: It’s Not About Tuition, It’s About Mo’ Money

Education

Not a Joke: Learn from Louisiana

  • Charles Mitchell
  • January 31, 2012

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. …

Media

Read More: Not a Joke: Learn from Louisiana

Education

A Word on Hellholes

  • Charles Mitchell
  • December 8, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: A Word on Hellholes

Education

Dear Reluctant Rural Republican…

  • Charles Mitchell
  • December 6, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: Dear Reluctant Rural Republican…

Education

Radical Reform Required…Now!

  • Charles Mitchell
  • December 2, 2011

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:…

Media

Read More: Radical Reform Required…Now!

Education

The Right Questions for Penn State

  • Charles Mitchell
  • November 23, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: The Right Questions for Penn State

Government Accountability

Thank You, Friends of Freedom

  • Charles Mitchell
  • November 23, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: Thank You, Friends of Freedom

Education

The Lesson of Ohio Might Not Be What You Think

  • Charles Mitchell
  • November 18, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: The Lesson of Ohio Might Not Be What You Think

Education

School Choice Saves, School Choice Sells

  • Charles Mitchell
  • October 25, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: School Choice Saves, School Choice Sells

Education

Want a 70% Approval Rating?

  • Charles Mitchell
  • October 24, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: Want a 70% Approval Rating?

Education

Pennsylvania’s Public Universities Have Indigestion

  • Charles Mitchell
  • September 27, 2011

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. …

Commentary

Read More: Pennsylvania’s Public Universities Have Indigestion

Regulation

This Is What a Boom Looks Like

  • Charles Mitchell
  • August 16, 2011

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”…

Media

Read More: This Is What a Boom Looks Like

Taxes & Economy

Who’s Nutty Now?

  • Charles Mitchell
  • August 8, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: Who’s Nutty Now?

Education

Penn State’s Smallest Tuition Hike in Years

  • Charles Mitchell
  • July 18, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: Penn State’s Smallest Tuition Hike in Years

Education

President Obama Is Right

  • Charles Mitchell
  • July 6, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: President Obama Is Right

Education

Will the “Year of School Choice” Come to PA?

  • Charles Mitchell
  • July 5, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: Will the “Year of School Choice” Come to PA?

Education

Cut Waste at This Temple, and I Will Praise It in Three Days

  • Charles Mitchell
  • July 1, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: Cut Waste at This Temple, and I Will Praise It in Three Days

Education

Are Tuition Hikes Forced by Cuts in State Subsidies?

  • Charles Mitchell, Nathan Benefield
  • June 30, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: Are Tuition Hikes Forced by Cuts in State Subsidies?

Education

Don’t Fall for the False Choice on Tuition and Taxpayers

  • Charles Mitchell
  • June 27, 2011

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,…

Media

Read More: Don’t Fall for the False Choice on Tuition and Taxpayers

Education

The Governor is Right and the Union Bosses are Wrong

  • Charles Mitchell
  • May 11, 2011

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…

Media

Read More: The Governor is Right and the Union Bosses are Wrong