THE ANDREA MITCHELL CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF DEMOCRACY was founded through a donation from Andrea Mitchell in 2017. This donation transformed what had been Penn’s Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism (DCC), enabling the mission of that organization to be dramatically expanded as well as permanently supported.
The Mitchell Center's programming includes:
The Faculty Workshop Series and Spring Conference bring leading scholars from around the world to present papers on aspects of an annual theme chosen by Penn faculty.
The Mitchell Center Postdoctoral Fellowship is awarded each year to a scholar in any discipline who has received a doctorate within the last five years and is doing research pertinent to the annual theme of the fellowship year. Mitchell Center Postdoctoral Fellows teach one course in the School of Arts and Sciences and assist Mitchell Center Undergraduate Grant Recipients.
Three Mitchell Center Graduate Fellowships are awarded each year to post-prospectus Penn graduate students whose research is pertinent to the themes of democracy, citizenship, and/or constitutionalism. The Mitchell Center Graduate Fellows organize a Graduate Workshop series in which graduate students from Penn and other institutions present their research.
Ten Mitchell Center Undergraduate Research Grants are awarded each spring to undergraduates for research projects related to the themes of democracy, citizenship, and/or constitutionalism. The Undergraduate Research Grant recipients participate in a year-long research seminar and present their work in a public conference at its end.
The Mitchell Center / PPU Debates involves a partnership with the Penn Political Union, an undergraduate organization that engages in parliamentary-style deliberation on urgent contemporary issues. To represent a wide spectrum of political opinion, students are members of five different political parties: libertarian, conservative, independent, liberal, and progressive. Beginning in 2017-18, The Andrea Mitchell Center is proud to sponsor the PPU debates, now expanded to include events featuring prominent public figures from journalism, politics, public policy, and academia.
The “Mitchell Center Presents: Politics on the Edge” Lecture Series, hosted at Penn’s Philomathean Society, an intellectual society in operation for more than two centuries. Through this initiative, leading figures from diverse fields are invited to share opinions and ideas that push the boundaries of political thinking, whether because of their topicality, trenchant criticism, or simple excellence.
The Mitchell Center is administered by an interdisciplinary Faculty Executive Committee which oversees all of the Center's main components. It approves program themes, appoints a Faculty Planning Committee for each year's Faculty Workshop Series and Spring Conference, and selects the Graduate Fellows.