Joan Mitchell

Language teacher, higher education administrator and
fundraising executive.

Joan Mitchell retired to San Miguel de Allende, GTO, eleven years ago after a distinguished professional career as a language professor, higher education administrator and fundraising executive. She holds a B.A. degree in French from Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA and graduate degrees in French, education, and information science from Harvard University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Her teaching career ranged from positions at Duquesne and Carnegie-Mellon Universities to an assignment at St. Edmund’s Academy in Pittsburgh, PA, where her French students ranged from 5-13 years of age, and which, she says, was by far the most challenging work.

After 17 years as a university library administrator she began her fund-raising career at Georgetown University, where she held the position of Director of Development Midwest USA Region, and then Director of Development for Student Affairs. After 7 years at Georgetown she was made VP for University Advancement at Marymount University of Virginia, a post that she also held later at her alma mater, Wilson College.

After retiring from higher education, Ms. Mitchell focused her fund-raising and management skills on the not-for-profit sector and the arts, serving for eight years as a board member, four of those as board chair, of the historic Capitol Theatre in Pennsylvania, then as fund-raising consultant to Jovenes Adelante, Feed the Hungry, and the San Miguel Instituto de Bel Canto, all NGO’s based in San Miguel de Allende, GTO.

A music student since childhood, Ms. Mitchell has been an opera lover since the age of 10, when a doting uncle began to teach her and then took her to the Metropolitan Opera for the first time when she was 14. In September 2017, she accepted the responsibility of bringing the MetOpera National Council (now the Laffont Competition) auditions  to Mexico for the very first time.  In June, 2019 she became president of the San Miguel MetOpera Trust, A.C., formed to ensure the future of the MetOpera auditions as an annual event in Mexico and to celebrate them as a milestone in the history of opera in Mexico.