Assistant, Communication and Operations, ARC

PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, seeks a dynamic, committed, and highly organized communication and operations assistant to support our growing Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) team, and work closely with the manager of Artists at Risk Connection Program. This is a full-time position based in New York. 

At PEN America, ARC safeguards the right to artistic freedom of expression around the world and works to ensure that artists of all disciplines everywhere can live and work without fear. With a global network of 800 organizations providing crucial resources for artists and cultural practitioners at risk, ARC plays the critical role of liaising between threatened artists and the organizations that support them. Since its inception, ARC has assisted more than 500 artists from over 63 countries in receiving direct support, including fellowships and residencies, emergency funding, legal assistance, and advocacy, among other forms of assistance, from partner organizations.

The communication and operations assistant will provide direct support to ARC’s program manager on a wide range of activities that enable the work of the ARC team, including but not limited to communications-related content and strategies, particularly social media and newsletters, to grow ARC’s online presence and draw in new audiences while keeping existing ones engaged.  The assistant will be in charge of ARC’s social media channels, including drafting and posting content, engaging with other social media accounts, and improving the team’s social media and communications strategy. The assistant will also draft newsletters and e-blasts,  help maintain the website and support the team with administrative tasks, including tracking expenses, preparing for internal meetings, updating documents and files, and more. The role also involves collaborating with the ARC leadership to develop management processes and procedures, manage external relationships, and problem solve. 

The ideal candidate will be creative, have an eye for – and experience with – designing visually appealing images, have a keen sense of creating interesting content, stay up-to-date on social media platforms, and be able to bring fresh ideas and strategies to ARC’s communications and overall team projects. The role also offers the opportunity to play a direct role in supporting artists at risk, building networks, and international partnerships, and implementing complex projects within a mission-driven nonprofit organization. This position is a fit for early-career professionals looking to advance their knowledge of human rights in the free expression and cultural arenas, and to join a growing organization at a time when this work has great urgency. The incumbent will also have access to the ever-changing, inspiring literary and free expression work of PEN America at large and collaborate across departments as necessary. 

The position requires strong writing skills, a creative eye, and demonstrated commitment to the arts and human rights internationally, and an eagerness to learn. The successful candidate will have demonstrated success in executing projects from start to finish, and demonstrate aptitude for working with social media, Mailchimp, website CMS, and graphic design. Ability to take initiative, problem-solve, and work independently are necessary. Candidates should have a passion for PEN America’s mission to defend and celebrate free expression and artistic freedom.


  • Develop and execute communications campaigns and social media kits for new initiative launches and events
  • Draft and post eye-catching, innovative, on-brand social media content for ARC’s channels – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, including creating or sourcing images as needed
  • Draft quarterly newsletters and other ad-hoc eblasts in Mailchimp
  • Stay up-to-date with best practices for social media platforms and adapt 
  • Help maintain and update ARC’s website, including the image bank
  • Compile and analyze monthly social media and website statistics to inform strategies for improving ARC’s communications
  • Assist with management of program budget, especially by quickly, efficiently, and accurately processing payments; tracking expenses; and reconciling finances
  • Assist with the drafting of press statements 
  • Keep ARC’s communications documents up-to-date and ensure all program files are correctly saved and organized
  • Participate in the recruiting and management of interns and fellows
  • Train regional representatives, staff, and interns in social media and communications best practices as needed
  • Help draft grant reports and proposals as necessary
  • Other responsibilities as necessary

All PEN America staff are considered to be stakeholders in the development of our shared organization. As such, staff play a role in varied activities within the workplace as part of their job responsibilities. These may include committees or task forces to work on office issues, diversity and inclusion, strategy projects, training or other initiatives.


  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in Communications, Marketing, Political Science, International Affairs, Human Rights, or similar fields
  • Minimum of one to two years of relevant office experience or equivalent work experience
  • Demonstrated commitment to human rights and/or artistic freedom
  • Ability to develop and present new ideas and approaches
  • Proficiency with content management systems, G Suite, Mailchimp, and Canva
  • Excellent writing, editing, research, and organizational skills
  • Proactive and able to self-manage, prioritize work assignments, and balance multiple deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to manage verbal and written communications tactfully and professionally with a high level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Commitment to diversity, accessibility, and inclusiveness through proactive approaches
  • A team player with an ability to work on diverse teams with accountability and responsibility
  • Proficiency in at least one other language preferred (target languages: Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Russian, and/or Ukrainian)
  • Graphic design experience a big plus
  • Experience working with budgets and/or administrative tasks a plus
  • Knowledge of database development and international coalition-building a plus

Salary and Benefits: PEN America offers competitive compensation and benefits, commensurate with experience.

To Apply:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, unedited writing sample, and the contact information for three references. Please submit the entire application to Please use “ARC Communication and Operations Assistant” and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “ARC Communication and Operations Assistant – Jane Doe”). Only complete applications will be reviewed, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

PEN America is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices, and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

About PEN America:

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.