National Outreach Coordinator

PEN America—an organization that stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide—seeks an innovative, energetic, and highly organized national outreach coordinator. This is a short-term contracted position.

The national outreach coordinator will assist with our PEN Across America program and its cornerstone initiative, the Press Freedom Incentive Fund, which seek to develop and reinvigorate constituencies for press freedom defense and literary advocacy in communities outside of major metropolitan coastal cities. This contract position is funded by a grant enabling PEN America to expand and test programming to interest, educate, and mobilize local audiences on issues of press freedom and free expression. This is an exciting opportunity to build new advocacy efforts at the local level by leveraging PEN America’s unique assets, including a national Membership and expertise in free expression and press freedom issues, and reach into journalistic, literary, cultural, and academic circles.

The successful candidate, working from PEN America’s New York City office, will support the development and execution of events across the country that raise the visibility and priority of press freedom. These events are led by local PEN America Members and other citizens, national and local journalists, and allied organizations such as libraries and civic groups. Responsibilities may be expanded to broader press freedom mobilization activities and public events on the national level.

The position will require coordination with a growing network of regional Members and partners to facilitate a range of programs including town halls, civic dialogues, skill-building sessions, film screenings, lectures, panel conversations, and advocacy-related activities. A flexible, detail-oriented approach is crucial; the ideal candidate will have experience handling logistics for multiple projects and events, drafting communications materials across all distribution channels, as well as supporting relationships with new and diverse stakeholders. This contract position will work with PEN America’s national outreach program director and Membership department, and has an initial grant-aligned 5 to 7-month term, with up to 40 hours per week and a minimum of 20 hours per week.


  • Process and respond to small grant applications from regional Members and community leaders for programming related to press freedom advocacy
  • Coordinate with speakers, venues, and community partners around various event needs
  • Draft program-related content including communications briefs, correspondence, social media messaging, media alerts, and event reports
  • Contribute to the development of new trainings, tools, and additional resources to engage around press freedom defense
  • Manage databases to track points of contact, program development, and local news issues
  • Assist in identifying and developing models for ongoing, self-sustained pockets of PEN America activity outside the New York area


  • 1-3 years of relevant nonprofit, advocacy, and/or event coordination experience
  • Ability to identify and innovatively meet the logistical needs of multiple, simultaneous projects
  • Demonstrated organizational, project management, and volunteer management skills
  • Strong writing, research, design, and communication skills, including the ability to quickly create engaging content targeted toward specific audiences
  • Knowledge of media and press freedom issues at both national and local levels preferred
  • Collaborative, personable energy, with an enthusiasm for building new networks and partnerships
  • Track record of successfully supporting and managing contingencies for new community initiatives
  • Energetic self-starter with ability to work independently and as part of a professional, fast-paced team
  • Formidable work ethic, exceptional interpersonal skills, and ability to think creatively and collaboratively

This role is ideally full-time for its 5 to 7-month duration, but with a minimum of 20 hours per week and a maximum of 40, and is based at PEN America’s New York City office. Salary commensurate with experience and available grant-funded resources. PEN America offers competitive compensation and benefits.

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter directly addressing specific requirements for the position as outlined above, a resume, an unedited writing sample, and the contact information for three references. Please submit the entire application to [email protected]. One PDF is preferred. Please use “National Outreach Coordinator” with your name as the subject of your email (e.g., National Outreach Coordinator – 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.

No phone calls, please.