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

Bad Economists and Good Budget Cuts

  • Charles Mitchell
  • May 10, 2011

Yesterday in the Patriot-News, yet another Penn State administrator campaigned against Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed cuts to the generous subsidies our public universities receive from taxpayers (many of which…

Media

Read More: Bad Economists and Good Budget Cuts

Education

PSU: Progress Seems Underway

  • Charles Mitchell
  • April 29, 2011

On March 8, Gov. Tom Corbett started a statewide conversation about higher education through his budget address, in which he proposed significant cuts in the subsidies Pennsylvania public universities receive…

Media

Read More: PSU: Progress Seems Underway

Education

When Bell Bottoms Were Cool…And PSU Charged $675

  • Charles Mitchell
  • April 28, 2011

I just sent the following to a student at Penn State who is writing a paper on Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed cuts to the subsidies our public universities receive from…

Media

Read More: When Bell Bottoms Were Cool…And PSU Charged $675

Education

Provost Spins Unsuccessfully

  • Charles Mitchell
  • April 22, 2011

I used to be one of those people who have Google Alerts set for their names. I’m not anymore, so it’s come to my attention only belatedly that on April…

Media

Read More: Provost Spins Unsuccessfully

Education

On Higher Ed, Will Legislators Choose the ObamaCare Approach?

  • Charles Mitchell
  • April 21, 2011

This week in the Wall Street Journal, columnist William McGurn had an excellent piece on higher education (subscription required). He wrote mostly about federal policy—and on that point…

Media

Read More: On Higher Ed, Will Legislators Choose the ObamaCare Approach?

Education

The Really Devastating Thing Would Be a Tax Increase

  • Charles Mitchell
  • April 20, 2011

My wife and I returned to Pennsylvania last year, and boy, are we feeling welcome right now.  The warm fuzzies really took over earlier today when my wife called to…

Media

Read More: The Really Devastating Thing Would Be a Tax Increase

Education

Can’t Cut, Can We?

  • Charles Mitchell
  • April 13, 2011

While Pennsylvania’s public universities continue to cry poverty, pesky facts keep proving otherwise.  Here’s a snippet from a piece by Debra Erdley in yesterday’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Professors at…

Media

Read More: Can’t Cut, Can We?

Education

Washington Is Watching Harrisburg

  • Charles Mitchell
  • April 12, 2011

Two writers for Politico recently opined that when it comes to getting spending under control, “the most sweeping work is getting done in states”—and they said the folks in…

Media

Read More: Washington Is Watching Harrisburg

Education

Not So Fast, University Presidents

  • Charles Mitchell
  • April 8, 2011

CF’s own Nate Benefield is quoted at length in a Capitolwire piece today by Pete DeCoursey that calls us “a leading advocate of the unpopular higher education cuts proposed by…

Media

Read More: Not So Fast, University Presidents

Education

Students’ Ire Is Misplaced

  • Charles Mitchell
  • March 28, 2011

As I write this, there are Pennsylvania college students walking past our State Capitol holding signs reading, “Save Our System.”  It’s understandable:  Since Gov. Corbett outlined his budget, these students…

Media

Read More: Students’ Ire Is Misplaced

Education

The Bubble Bursts at Penn State

  • Charles Mitchell
  • March 24, 2011

The story is told that when someone asked John D. Rockefeller how much money is enough, he responded, "Just one dollar more."  Penn State's President, Graham Spanier, like most college…

Commentary

Read More: The Bubble Bursts at Penn State

Education

Parents Mustn’t Fall for Penn State Claims

  • Charles Mitchell
  • March 21, 2011

In an op-ed in Sunday’s Harrisburg Patriot-News, Penn State President Graham Spanier repeated his now-familiar claims that his institution must receive more from taxpayers than the $165 million…

Media

Read More: Parents Mustn’t Fall for Penn State Claims

Education

On Penn State and Lasagna

  • Charles Mitchell
  • March 18, 2011

The news that Penn State’s trustees just froze new building projects brings lasagna to mind. The reason is that right after my wife and I returned from the hospital…

Media

Read More: On Penn State and Lasagna

Education

Hope for University Administrators, or Taxpayers?

  • Charles Mitchell
  • March 18, 2011

Tracie Mauriello of the Post-Gazette has a story today with the headline “Legislators offer hope to university administrators.”  There, she quotes several state senators who say they hope to…

Media

Read More: Hope for University Administrators, or Taxpayers?

Education

Top Ten Reasons Pennsylvanians Deserve More from Their Universities

  • Charles Mitchell
  • March 17, 2011

Yesterday in Harrisburg, the talk was all about Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposal to cut the generous subsidies Pennsylvania taxpayers provide to our universities.  Budget Secretary Charles Zogby said…

Media

Read More: Top Ten Reasons Pennsylvanians Deserve More from Their Universities

Education

PSU: Political Stunt University?

  • Charles Mitchell
  • March 10, 2011

University presidents are howling in response to Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget address, in which he proposed giving their institutions less of taxpayers’ hard-earned money.  The loudest protests are coming from…

Media

Read More: PSU: Political Stunt University?

Education

To These People, Gov. Corbett’s “C” Word Is an Epithet

  • Charles Mitchell
  • January 21, 2011

Well. It sounds like the media and the educational establishment interpreted Gov. Tom Corbett’s inaugural address the same way I did. Since his inauguration, there has been a bunch…

Media

Read More: To These People, Gov. Corbett’s “C” Word Is an Epithet

Education

The Right Thing

  • Charles Mitchell
  • January 18, 2011

I am infamous in the Commonwealth Foundation office and in my family for being old fashioned. There is a litany of reasons:  I wear ties a lot.  I even own…

Media

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Glad Tidings…If You Love Freedom

  • Charles Mitchell
  • December 24, 2010

It’s clear: The big government lovers in Pennsylvania are getting coal in their stockings. Just a few days ago, CF announced that we had already met our…

Media

Read More: Glad Tidings…If You Love Freedom

Join Us on October 23, and Bring a Crowd

  • Charles Mitchell
  • August 13, 2010

As promised, CF has rescheduled our LiveFreePA event for Saturday, October 23, from noon to 4 p.m. We’ll be celebrating our freedoms—which are, sadly, under attack in Harrisburg and…

Media

Read More: Join Us on October 23, and Bring a Crowd