March 10, 2016PEN America, the largest branch of the world’s oldest literary and human rights organization, announced at its Annual General Meeting the newly-elected and reelected officer trustees of the Board. These included Theresa Rebeck, re-elected as Secretary, and newly-elected or reelected trustees of PEN’s Board Ayad Akhtar, Gabrielle De Ferrari, Jennifer Egan, Nathan Englander, Elizabeth Hemmerdinger, Sean Kelly, Yvonne Marsh, Errol McDonald, Alexandra Munroe, and Andrew Solomon.


Biographical information for these Trustees can be found here. Minutes from the Annual General Meeting can be found here


PEN President Andrew Solomon provided organizational highlights from his first year as president of PEN America, including more than 100 public programs, six original research reports on free expression issues, three international writers’ delegations, and ongoing global advocacy for writers in prison or otherwise under threat. PEN’s Prison Writing Program reached more than 20,000 incarcerated men and women over the last year and continues to expand. We have also launched the PEN Equity Project, an initiative encouraging writers and publishers to explore themes of diversity in their work.

Jamie Burns, PEN’s Membership Engagement Manager, spoke about PEN’s membership growth to nearly 4,400 as of mid-March, and the membership engagement initiatives we have put in place, including the re-launch of Lit Crawl NYC, volunteer opportunities at the PEN World Voices Festival, and a series of professional development workshops.

Executive Director Suzanne Nossel, in her closing remarks, reiterated that our membership is the foundation of PEN, and that PEN’s message makes a greater impact when the literary and free expression communities know that PEN stands for an extraordinary and increasingly diverse community of writers.


Founded in 1922, PEN America is a community of nearly 4,500 writers working to bring down barriers to free expression worldwide. Its distinguished members carry on the achievements in literature and advancement of human rights of such past members as Langston Hughes, Arthur Miller, and Susan Sontag. Throughout all of this work, and thanks to the considerable growth of PEN’s membership, PEN continues to build a more fair and balanced world.