Board Liaison & Internal Communications Manager

PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, seeks a proactive, efficient, analytical, and highly detailed-oriented Board Liaison and Internal Communications Manager to work closely with our senior leadership and Chief of Staff during a period of organizational growth. This is a full-time position based in our headquarters in New York City and will report to the Chief of Staff. 

With respect to their Board Liaison functions, the manager will be the primary administrative and logistics staff person supporting the PEN America Board of Trustees and its various Committees. The Board is made up of prominent writers, philanthropists, and nonprofit and business professionals. The successful candidate will be responsible for facilitating Board decision-making processes, including the handling of sensitive matters, as well as other Board activities, and ensuring documentation of outcomes, playing a major role in ensuring the Board complies with best procedures and governing policies and rules. They will ensure that required actions happen in a timely manner and key information is communicated between and among the Board, its Committees and members, and the Chief Executive Officer and other key executive officers. Beyond administrative work, the role requires a strategic focus and the manager will exercise considerable discretion and independent judgment in the performance of their duties. 

With respect to the Internal Communications functions, the manager will work closely with the Chief of Staff, Communications department, Human Resources, and CEO to create and oversee effective internal communications. The successful candidate will be able to create a mechanism for gathering key information on internal and external developments and translating it into succinct toplines for staff – with the ability to go deeper when needed. They will play a leading role in “rightsizing” the cadence, content, and channels of internal communications.  

This is a unique opportunity to be an integral part of a dynamic, collaborative, organization celebrating and defending literature and free speech in a time of increasing domestic and international attacks while working to build a diverse community of stakeholders. For a high-capacity individual with a willingness to take on new challenges, the position offers opportunities for professional advancement within nonprofit operations and management. 

In alignment with PEN America’s current policy, all applicants should be available to report to the office at least three days per week. This policy is subject to change.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Board Liaison:

  • Lead and manage relations with the Board of Trustees in close coordination with the CEO and Chief of Staff, serving as the primary point of contact for all Trustees and for Board-related matters
  • Manage the Board calendar, including, but not limited to, the scheduling of Board and Committee meetings, candidate recruitment, Board retreats and other engagements in close coordination with the schedules of the CEO and other senior executives
  • Plan and execute logistics of all Board of Trustees meetings and affiliated activities throughout the year, including venue, security, food, entertainment, IT logistics, and travel and lodging for Trustees and participating staff. Assemble materials for Board meetings and activities
  • Regularly draft Board agendas, presentation decks, reports, and meeting minutes as well as correspondence, including emails, letters, and memos
  • Maintain and prepare Board resources and support documents, including the Board Handbook, the Board annual calendar, Board and Committee membership rosters 
  • Maintain corporate records, including Board meeting minutes, resolutions, contact information, attendance records, and other documents
  • Play a lead role in shaping and implementing a Board engagement strategy, developing a cycle and structure of engagement opportunities for Trustees through orientations, planned programming, and social gatherings
  • Work with teams across the organization to identify new opportunities that would benefit from Board participation and liaise with Trustees’ staff to facilitate their engagement across programs and strategic event
  • Monitor and track individual Board engagements

Internal Communications:

  • Play a lead role in the development of rightsized internal communications functionality, and oversee implementation
    • Develop, socialize routinize, implement, and oversee effective internal communications, which for example may include a topline weekly newsletter and a “News from the CEO” recurring email and new comms channels, or better use of existing ones
  • Gather information for internal communications, draft internal communications, and ensure review and approval by CEO or other appropriate senior leaders
  • Solicit and respond to feedback to improve internal communications channels and processes
  • Manage logistics for all staff and leadership meetings under the direction of the Chief of Staff, including managing room and video conferencing setup, running digital presentations, taking meeting minutes, and printing and distributing materials as needed

Other Duties:

  • Provide general assistance to the Chief of Staff which includes but is not limited to: Calendar management and scheduling meetings, project management, and handling internal and external communications and request
  • Assist Chief of Staff with a variety of administrative tasks, including database support and materials management, and oversight of special projects as needed
  • Provide executive support to the CEO in the absence of Special Assistant to CEO

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor’s Degree is required
  • Three to five years of experience in related field(s); at least two years of experience in coordination and schedule management; demonstrated facility/experience with internal communications
  • Experience at a nonprofit, and supporting a nonprofit Board of Directors is preferable but not required
  • Exemplary capacity to maintain confidentiality and discretion
  • Proficient in using Microsoft Office, GSuite, and other Board portals/software
  • Demonstrated success in project management and required problem-solving skills
  • A track record for exercising sound judgment and forethought even in the execution of mundane tasks
  • Demonstrated ability to exact attention to detail, with the ability to peg to strategic/overarching goals
  • Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, ambitious, professional environment that requires handling multiple, varied tasks/projects
  • Comfortable working in an organization that defends free expression without regard to speaker or ideology, including speech that may be offensive or cause discomfort, and with an organization that supports writers and their rights to free expression and association in various countries regardless of the policies of their governments
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • A track record for going the extra mile at work, consistently taking initiative, thinking ahead, putting in the extra effort, and delivering beyond expectations
  • Commitment to the mission of PEN America demonstrated through professional, volunteer, or educational experience is a plus
  • Interest in literature, human rights, and/or advocacy a plus

Salary and Benefits: PEN America offers competitive compensation and full benefits. The salary range for this position is $70k-$75k commensurate with experience. Candidates whose expectations are outside this range are welcome to apply, as PEN America is open to considering talented individuals at varying stages of their careers. PEN America’s benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision health insurance, paid time off, 10 paid holidays, pre-tax commuter benefits, and a 403b retirement plan.

TO APPLY:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and unedited writing sample to [email protected]. Use “Board Liaison” with your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Board Liaison” – Jane Doe”). Please also share where you heard about this position in the body of your email. 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.

No phone calls, please. 

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.