Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director of PEN American Center, is available for comment on the State Visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the U.S. (September 23-28, 2015):

Suzanne Nossel is Executive Director of PEN American Center, the largest branch of the world’s leading free expression and literary organization with a membership of over 4,200 authors, journalists, editors, publishers, and graphic novelists. In January 2015, Nossel traveled to China and Hong Kong as part of a PEN delegation to meet with persecuted writers and their families, dissident artists, journalists, and editors to gather information on the narrowing space for free expression in the region. There Nossel released PEN’s report, Threatened Harbor, documenting how Beijing is shrinking the space for press freedom in Hong Kong.

Prior to joining PEN, Nossel served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Obama Administration, where she was responsible for multilateral human rights; as chief operating officer for Human Rights Watch; and as deputy to the ambassador for the United Nations. She is also a columnist for Foreign Policy and writes and speaks extensively on challenges to free expression worldwide. She is the author of Closing a Vital Window Into China (Foreign Policy 2015), What U.S. Publishers Owe China (Washington Post 2015), and In China Let 1,000 Blogs Bloom (LA Times, 2013).

PEN American Center has been a leading voice for free expression in China for nearly a decade. In 2009, Nobel Laureates from PEN’s Membership convened to nominate jailed writer Liu Xiaobo, founder of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, for the Nobel Peace Prize. Honored in 2010, Liu is the only Nobel Laureate currently in prison. In May 2015, PEN released the groundbreaking report Censorship and Conscience, detailing for the first time the extensive censorship of thousands of international titles published annually in China, the world’s second largest book market. Coinciding with PEN’s “Governments Make Bad Editors” campaign to spotlight silenced authors in China—where at least 47 writers are currently imprisoned—the report garnered widespread media attention in the New York Times, NPR, and more.

To arrange an interview, please contact:
Sarah Edkins, Deputy Director of Communications | +1 646 779 4830