(NEW YORK)– PEN America, the literary and free expression advocacy organization, today announced the appointment of Geraldine Baum as chief communications officer. Baum is a seasoned journalist and communications strategist who has had a distinguished career as a reporter, most recently at the Los Angeles Times covering major news developments in New York, Washington, and Paris. She was part of the Newsday team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for reporting on the Baby Jane Doe case.

Since 2018, Baum has been the first assistant dean for external affairs at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, where she led communications, marketing, branding, events, and digital and supported fund-raising efforts.

PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said: “We are fortunate to have Geraldine take charge of our communications efforts at a time of mounting threats to open discourse in the U.S. and worldwide. Her experience as a journalist, broad networks, and passion for excellence in writing and innovation position her to help elevate PEN America to the next level of visibility and impact in our work .As we mark our 100th year, I’m confident that Geraldine’s creativity and zeal will help us meet this unprecedented moment of  assaults on free expression.”

Baum said: “”Protecting the right to write, to speak, to express ourselves freely is essential to achieving the open and inclusive world we deserve. I have spent my whole professional life dependent on the right to free press and expression. I have been so impressed with, and grateful for, how PEN America has amped up its research, including its essential barometers of freedom, and then advocated to expand those rights everywhere.  PEN America has fought to increase both our knowledge and our rights, and I am proud to be joining its essential mission at this time.

Baum will oversee PEN America’s media outreach, digital presence, marketing, web development, while also supporting fund-raising programs and events. Her first day is Monday, July 11.

Before joining the Newmark J-School, Baum spent seven years as senior vice president for communications and marketing at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the nation’s largest community development not-for-profit.

For two decades before that, she was a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times in Washington, and in New York and Paris as bureau chief. She covered major news and feature stories, including the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, the 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and the economic and cultural struggles of Western Europe.

In Paris, she was an adjunct professor at Sciences Po University and in New York a thesis adviser at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

A graduate of Northwestern University, she earned a master’s degree from Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism.

About PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Learn more at pen.org.

Contact: Suzanne Trimel, STrimel@PEN.org, 201-247-5057