Executive Internship — NYC

PEN America seeks a diligent, detail-oriented, and highly energetic intern to support the work of the executive office. Working closely with the executive assistant, the executive intern will gain exposure to nonprofit governance, planning, growth, and advancement, as well as an overview of PEN America’s work. This internship will operate from our headquarters in New York City on a hybrid schedule during normal business hours. Applicants needing a fully virtual arrangement are also welcome to apply and should indicate this requirement in their application.

Interns will receive hands-on experience in planning and executing Board meetings and staff meetings; conducting research; drafting correspondence, memos, and minutes; and general administration. Additionally, interns are invited to attend and assist at many PEN America events.

A limited number of paid internships are available through our Centenary Internship program and would require a commitment of 15-20 hours/week over 26 weeks. All internships are also eligible for college credit.


  • Provide support to the executive assistant, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, and director of finance and administration on institutional governance, planning, growth, and advancement
  • Draft and proofread high-impact letters, correspondence, and memos for the executive office
  • Assist with preparation for quarterly Board meetings, as well as directors’ meetings, all-staff meetings, and other meetings for the executive assistant and chief executive officer. Prepare agenda and draft and proofread minutes and other relevant materials
  • Conduct research on Trustees and Trustee candidates, speakers for events, and prospects
  • Ensure a well-functioning office environment; tasks include updating databases and contact lists, printing, scanning, and mailing

Desired Attributes:

  • Strong work ethic
  • Exemplary attention to detail and excellent organizational skills
  • Professionalism, excellent interpersonal skills, and discretion
  • Demonstrated capability to work independently and efficiently, to prioritize and simultaneously handle multiple tasks, and to adhere to deadlines
  • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Willingness to learn new skills and roll up one’s sleeves to get the job done
  • Fluency in G Suite
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Word and the Windows operating system preferred
  • Interest in literature, human rights, and/or advocacy

Application Periods:

Be sure to include the dates of your availability with your application.

  • Fall Internship: Please submit your application between July and September
  • Winter/Spring Internship: Please submit your application between November and January
  • Summer Internship: Please submit your application between March and May

To apply:

Please email a cover letter (one-page maximum) and resume to Executive Assistant and Board Liaison, Emma Deshpande, at edeshpande@pen.org. Please include the cycle you’re applying for, and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Fall Executive Internship – Jane Doe”).

No phone calls, please.

PEN America does not discriminate in its selection practices, and in order to build the strongest possible team, 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.

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