Program Coordinator, Digital Safety and Free Expression

PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, seeks a dynamic and detail-oriented program coordinator to join our efforts to defend creative and media professionals, as well as their allies and employers, from online abuse, bolster their safety, and protect their free expression rights online. This is a full-time position based in New York and reports to the director, digital safety and free expression. Applicants based in Washington, D.C. will also be considered.

The program coordinator will work with PEN America’s in-house experts to drive forward our digital safety and online abuse defense programming by: providing project management and support on research projects, developing resources and campaigns; coordinating and tracking engagement with social media platforms and technology companies; building out a stronger media and social media presence for team’s work; and following current developments in online abuse, content moderation, and digital safety. 

The ideal candidate will be deeply committed to making online spaces safer and more equitable, passionate about protecting free expression rights online, possess an understanding of intersectionality, and be attuned to the challenges to digital safety in an era of rapidly evolving technology. The position requires an energized and highly organized work style, a diplomatic disposition, and the ability to work collaboratively on fast-paced program development and expansion. It offers substantial potential for professional advancement as PEN America’s programming in this area expands.

Online abuse—from violent threats and hateful slurs to sexual harassment and doxing—poses a direct and pressing threat to free expression. In response, we launched our online abuse defense program in 2018, which has since reached hundreds of thousands of people. Our program is focused on making online spaces safer, more equitable, and more free by: 1) equipping those facing abuse with resources and training to defend themselves; 2) collaborating with news outlets and media organizations, universities, and other employers to protect and support staff facing harassment; 3) conducting research and advocacy to hold social media companies accountable for online harms; and 4) working in coalition with partner organizations to fight back. The program coordinator will play a key role in moving this important work forward. 

In alignment with PEN America’s current policy, all applicants should be available to report to the office at least three days per week. This policy is subject to change.


  • Project manage research and writing projects, as well as propose and pursue original research and writing project ideas that advance the program’s goals.
  • Lead coordination, preparation, and tracking for our engagement with social media platforms and technology companies
  • Develop and grow the reach of materials and resources for digital safety and online abuse defense, including building new resources and drafting and updating content
  • Lead intern/fellow recruitment and management
  • Build out a stronger media and social media presence for our work in close collaboration with the wider digital safety team and with the communications team
  • Support the organization and implementation of public events and speaking engagements, as well as represent the program at such events as needed
  • Strengthen ties between the organization’s work on online harassment and disinformation
  • Handle expense reporting, financial reconciliation, and other budget tasks as needed
  • Handle scheduling and other administrative responsibilities as needed
  • Follow current developments in online abuse, anti-harassment, and digital content moderation and conduct relevant research and analysis
  • Provide support for development and fundraising efforts, including assistance researching funding opportunities, drafting proposals, tracking impact, and drafting grant reports
  • Creatively collaborate with other PEN America staff and programs to coordinate advocacy, public programming, membership activities, and other organizational initiatives as appropriate
  • Passionately support and advance PEN America’s mission to safeguard free expression in the United States and abroad

​All PEN America staff are considered to be stakeholders in the development of our shared organization. As such, staff play a role in varied activities within the workplace as part of their job responsibilities. These may include committees or task forces to work on office issues, diversity and inclusion, strategy projects, training or other initiatives.


  • A minimum of two to three years of relevant experience in journalism or media, communications, technology, project management or coordination, policy advocacy, and/or research 
  • Demonstrated organizational and project management skills with the ability to prioritize multiple tasks with short- and long-term deadlines for deliverables
  • Excellent writing, research and presentation skills
  • Highly detail-oriented and organized
  • Experience with social media, website content management systems, and communications utilizing multiple platforms, including proficiency with Google Suite and various video conferencing platforms including Zoom (Asana and Canva a plus)
  • Track record for independent problem-solving, creativity, and effectiveness
  • Strong knowledge of free expression issues and familiarity with or interest in online abuse and digital safety
  • A diplomatic disposition and great facility with interpersonal communication and relationship building
  • Personal qualities of integrity, empathy, patience, respect for others, and a willingness to learn

Salary and Benefits: PEN America offers competitive compensation and full benefits. The salary range for this position is $50-60k, commensurate with experience. Candidates whose expectations are outside this range are welcome to apply, as PEN America is open to considering talented individuals at varying stages of their careers. PEN America’s benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision health insurance, paid time off, 10 paid holidays, pre-tax commuter benefits and a 403b retirement plan.


Please submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected]. Use “Program Coordinator, Digital Safety” and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Program Coordinator, Digital Safety – Jane Doe”). Please also share where you heard about this position in the body of your email. 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 or solicitations, please.


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free 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.