Application Deadline: Until Filled

PEN America—a 4,400-plus-strong literary membership organization focused on advancing freedom of expression worldwide—seeks a skilled and energetic professional to implement programs and advocacy supporting our global initiatives. This position will be engaged in the full range of activities promoting free expression and developing collaborations with PEN centers and other partners worldwide. These include coordinating or conducting research programs, developing mentorships for PEN branches in other countries, and designing and delivering advocacy campaigns on free expression issues. Issues covered may include: Chinese censorship; encroachments on free expression in Russia, strengthening free expression protections in Myanmar and building the capacity of local literary and free expression organizations worldwide. The ideal candidate will be committed to human rights activism, knowledgeable about free expression challenges, a superb writer, enthusiastic multi-tasker and self-starter, and eager to step up to the demands of a growing non-profit organization with an ambitious agenda to heighten its impact.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Designing, conducting, and editing international research and advocacy efforts on free expression issues;

  • Supporting partner PEN centers in other countries, including through mentorship, strategic planning, and capacity building;

  • Conceptualizing and implementing advocacy campaigns for imprisoned writers and journalists and on other free expression challenges;

  • Tracking domestic and international trends in free expression and human rights, and helping to devise timely and impactful responses;

  • Developing and drafting concept papers and proposals outlining potential free expression initiatives to potential funders;

  • Other duties as assigned.

Requirements include:

  • Exceptional academic credentials—B.A. degree required; M.A. or other graduate degree preferred;

  • Excellent writing and editing abilities, including the ability to quickly draft a range of high-quality products;

  • Demonstrated commitment to human rights;

  • Expertise in free expression and access to information issues, including but not limited to media freedom, digital rights, and cultural expression;

  • Dogged research, advocacy, and problem-solving skills;

  • 2-10 years of professional experience at a related non-profit organization; responsibilities may adjust to qualifications;

  • Experience in original research and advocacy, and drafting grant proposals;

  • Previous international work; experience in capacity-building for organizations in repressive, transitioning, or conflict-affected countries preferred;

  • Additional language skills preferred; Fluency in Russian, Arabic, French, Chinese and/or Spanish a plus;

  • Ability to work quickly, stay highly organized, and multi-task in a fast-paced environment.


Other: Diverse candidates are particularly encouraged to apply. This position is envisioned as full-time and permanent. However, highly qualified candidates interested in limited-term appointments of at least six months may apply with an explanation of their availability in their cover letter.  

Salary and Benefits: PEN 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 [email protected]. Please use “Free Expression International Partnerships Manager” and your name (for example, “Free Expression International Partnerships Manager – Jane Doe”) as the subject of your email. 

Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

PEN American Center 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.