Mitch Harper is an attorney in private practice in Fort Wayne. In 2007, he was elected to the Fort Wayne City Council to represent the 4th Council District. He had previously served as an Indiana State Representative from 1978 to 1990.
He is a graduate of Indiana University and the Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis.
As Councilman he has served as Chairman of the Finance Committee and is the Common Council's representative on the board of the Fort Wayne - Allen County Economic Development Alliance.
He is President of the Mary and Perry Spencer Charitable Foundation which provides grants to non-profit organizations, particularly those serving the needs of children and youth.
As a member of the Indiana House of Representatives he served as Chairman of the House Urban Affairs Committee, the House Labor Committee and Co-Chair of the Environmental Affairs Committee. He served on the House Committee on Cities and Towns and was a member of the joint committee on Local Government Affairs which drafted Indiana's first Home Rule legislation. While a State Representative he was the Indiana Chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council.
He was selected in a national competition for the first class of Henry Toll Fellows of the Council of State Governments.
Mitch Harper is editor of the weblog, Fort Wayne Observed (www.FortWayneObserved.com) and is a Senior Fellow of the Indiana Policy Review.
He is also a member of the board of the Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor and was one of the founding members of that organization. He is also a member of the board of Drive Alive, the initiative of Coroner Jon Brandenberger to reduce teen driving deaths.
He has been a past member of the boards of AWS (Anthony Wayne Services) and ARCH, Fort Wayne's historic preservation organization. He is a past President of the Fort Wayne Rivergreenway Consortium. He served as member of the Mayor's Task Force on the Future of Smith Field in 2002.
He is active in promoting running and recreation in northeast Indiana. He is the organizer and founder of several athletic events including the Galloping Gobbler 4 Miler held at the campus of the University of St. Francis each Thanksgiving.