Meet Robert Mitchell

“My wife, Cheryl, and I took our two children with us on our TDS trips to Tanzania because we felt it was important to educate them on the conditions and cultures in other parts of the world.”


Board Member since 2011

Hometown: Madison, Wis.

Trips taken with TDS to Tanzania: 2

Career: U.S. Census Bureau Surveyor

Hobbies: Genealogy





I joined TDS in 2009 with my wife, Cheryl. We are passionate about the power of education to transform lives, especially those of girls. We traveled to Tanzania in the inaugural 2009 trip and returned in 2011 to finish the dormitory we had begun building in 2009.

I have worked for the U.S. Census Bureau for three years and interview people for various federal surveys. Before that, I was a stay-at-home dad for 20 years. We have a son, Nick, who will soon be a graduate student in microbiology at the University of California, Davis, and a daughter, Jessica, who is starting her last year of undergraduate studies at McGill University.

My parents were conservative and quiet, and taught by example, not by lecture. From them, I learned the importance of helping people in our community and beyond. While I was growing up, my family hosted students from other parts of the world, including Wisconsin, Mississippi, Thailand, and India. This exposure taught me to accept other people and cultures.

I am a path of least resistance kind of guy, and I’m not sure how I developed it; it just came to me. My wife tells me that I am a kind person and this seems to be a result of this philosophy, though I really haven’t thought about it much.

Goals for 2017

1. Transition into an organization that sets clearer goals.

Goals for 2018

1. Develop a solid plan with a professional board in place to achieve those goals.


“The widely successful TDS Yard Sale – TDS’s largest community-engaging fundraiser – helps give visibility to our organization each summer.”