The author Andrew Solomon has been elected to be president of the literary and human rights organization PEN American Center.

Mr. Solomon will succeed Peter Godwin, who served in the position for three years. In announcing Mr. Solomon’s election, PEN cited surveillance in the United States and the attacks on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo among the recent developments that concern the organization.

Mr. Solomon is the author of the novel “A Stone Boat”; and the nonfiction books “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression” and “Far From the Tree,” about families of individuals affected by a spectrum of cognitive, physical or psychological differences, which was one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2012.