Director, PEN America Florida

PEN America, a nonprofit organization defending and celebrating free expression, seeks a forward-thinking, innovative Director to establish PEN America in Florida. The Director will build the programming, public profile, partnerships and funding to advance PEN America’s mission across the state, drawing on PEN America’s established expertise and national staff as well as its Florida-based constituency, including donors, supporters, and a volunteer-led Miami/South Florida chapter. This exciting new role requires an entrepreneurial approach, the ability to spot openings for free expression advocacy and literary activism, and the versatility to represent PEN America in a wide range of settings. The position will be based in Miami, reporting to PEN America leadership at its New York City headquarters. 

PEN America is establishing its Florida office as expression in the state is being constricted through the banning of books in schools and libraries, controls on education curriculum and institutions, and restrictions on how residents discuss and exhibit their identities. At the same time, Florida is growing as a dynamic, diverse creative and cultural center. The new PEN America Florida office will join PEN America Los Angeles and PEN America Washington, D.C., as well as 10 PEN Across America chapters as the organization expands its nationwide presence and impact. 

The Director will draw on PEN America’s national reputation and staff, world-class research, advocacy prowess, and connections to the human rights and literary communities to establish and elevate the organization’s presence in Florida. The role offers the opportunity to build a prominent, vibrant hub and grow the funding base to support additional staff and activities. The Director will coordinate closely with PEN America’s national free expression and literary programming teams, especially those focused on the freedom to read, teach and learn. The role will also collaborate with and be supported by PEN America’s Communications, Development, and Finance departments. Initially, the Director will hire and oversee one coordinator; added staff is anticipated, dependent on progress in fundraising.

The Director will bring a combination of skills ideally including human rights advocacy, fundraising, and public programming. A network of relevant civil society, literary, philanthropic and community contacts in Miami is essential; a network that extends to Tallahassee and statewide would be an advantage. The Director should be able to speak to PEN America’s positions in various settings, engage and steward donors, plan and execute public events featuring PEN America experts and partners, and build relationships with media, peer advocacy, literary and cultural organizations, and community groups. A natural relationship-builder, the Director will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills as well as the ability to formulate strategies independently, conceptualize and execute multiple initiatives simultaneously, and problem-solve proactively.


  • Develop and execute a strategy to establish and advance PEN America’s presence in Florida, including through programming, advocacy, fundraising and community and media outreach
  • Identify and cultivate individual donors and foundation funders to expand support for new programming and additional staff
  • Serve as the primary spokesperson and ambassador for PEN America in Florida, effectively communicating its mission and vision to a wide variety of community partners and constituents
  • Oversee the creation and development of innovative initiatives including advocacy campaigns and public programs that will build PEN America’s profile in Florida  
  • Coordinate with PEN America’s Free Expression Programs department to advance existing projects related to protecting the right to read and academic freedom as well as the fight against disinformation 
  • Build partnerships with counterpart organizations, including academic, literary and cultural institutions, advocacy groups, and community leaders
  • Expand PEN America’s public profile in Florida through press outreach and public appearances
  • Develop the operational structure of a new PEN America office, liaising with PEN America’s operational departments including Human Resources and Finance

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.

PEN America is looking for a leader with vision, determination and tested capacity who values the opportunity to establish and lead PEN America in Florida.


  • Demonstrated success as an organization builder with a track record of developing initiatives through vision and drive and with measurable results 
  • Established network of relevant relationships in Miami and Florida including with counterpart organizations, community and academic leaders, policymakers, philanthropists and/or policymakers 
  • Commitment to PEN America’s mission of protecting and celebrating free expression, and capacity to quickly develop ability to communicate on relevant issues. A background in human rights, literature or the arts preferred.
  • Experience – preferably a strong background – in fundraising, including with major donors and foundations, and stewarding relationships with supporters
  • Comfort in outward facing role, with willingness to deftly and energetically represent PEN America at public events and social gatherings, on panels, and in the media
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills that eloquently motivate support for PEN America and its mission and activities
  • Capacity to strategize, operate, and problem solve independently, while developing collaborative relationships with colleagues across a national organization 
  • A prodigious work ethic that relishes challenges, accountability, and putting in the work to drive forward multiple initiatives simultaneously, troubleshoot challenges, and reach goals

Salary and Benefits: PEN America offers competitive compensation and full benefits. The salary range for this position is $120-140k annually 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 “Director, PEN America Florida” with your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Director, PEN America Florida – 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.