Suzanne Nossel

Suzanne Nossel

Suzanne Nossel currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of PEN America, the leading human rights and free expression organization.  Since joining in 2013, she has doubled the organization’s staff, budget, and membership, spearheaded the unification with PEN Center USA in Los Angeles and the establishment of a Washington DC office, and overseen groundbreaking work on free expression in Hong Kong and China, Myanmar, Eurasia and the United States.  She is a leading voice on free expression issues in the US and globally, writing and being interviewed frequently for national and international media outlets.  Her prior career spanned government service and leadership roles in the corporate and non-profit sectors.  She has served as the Chief Operating Officer of Human Rights Watch and as Executive Director of Amnesty International USA.  During the first term of the Obama Administration, Nossel served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations, where she led US engagement in the United Nations and multilateral institutions, on human rights and humanitarian issues.  During the Clinton Administration, Nossel was Deputy to the US Ambassador for UN Management and Reform at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, where she was the lead negotiator in settling US arrears to the world body.  During her corporate career, Nossel served as Vice President of US Business Development for Bertelsmann and as Vice President for Strategy and Operations for the Wall Street Journal.  Nossel coined the term “Smart Power,” which was the title of a 2004 article she published in Foreign Affairs Magazine and later became the theme of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tenure in office.  Nossel is a featured columnist for Foreign Policy magazine and has published op-eds in The New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times and dozens of other outlets, as well as scholarly articles in Foreign Affairs, Dissent, Democracy and other journals.  Nossel serves on the Board of Directors of the Tides Foundation.  She is a former senior fellow at the Century Foundation, the Center for American Progress, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Nossel is a magna cum laude graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School.

Recent Publications

“Google Is Handing the Future of the Internet to China”
Foreign Policy, September 10, 2018

“The Job of Human Rights Chief Isn’t What You Think”
Foreign Policy, August 9, 2018

“What the Trump Administration Gets Very Wrong About Free Speech”
CNN, August 7, 2018

“Once Upon a Time, Helsinki Meant Human Rights”
Foreign Policy, July 11, 2018

“Sometimes More Speech Isn’t the Solution to Offensive Speech” 
The Washington Post, May 29, 2018

“You Can Only Protect Campus Speech if You Acknowledge Racism” 
The Washington Post, May 25, 2018 

“Rex Tillerson Proved CEOs Are DOA in Washington”
Foreign Policy. March 13, 2018

“We Cannot Continue to Treat All Offensive Speech Acts – Intentional or Not – As Equally Blameworthy”
Pioneer Press, March 11, 2018

“Serving Under Trump Is Not a Crime”
Foreign Policy, February 7, 2018

“Trump’s Every Tweet Shouldn’t Dominate the News Cycle, but His Blather Demands Confrontation”
Los Angeles Times, January 16, 2018

“Not all Campus Speakers are Created Equal (Especially When They’re From the German Far Right)”
The Washington Post, October 31, 2017

NFL Owners Need to Play Defense to Protect Free Speech” 
The Washington PostOctober 15, 2017

The Pro-Free Speech Way to Fight Fake News” 
Foreign Policy,  October 12, 2017

The Jemele Hill Controversy Portends a World Stripped of Our Culture of Free Expression” 
Los Angeles Times, September 15, 2017

The Problem with Making Hate Speech Illegal
Foreign PolicyAugust 14, 2017

How We Communicate is Changing. So Should the Way We Think About Free Speech.
The Washington Post, August 11, 2017

“The Gross Misconduct of Radwan Ziadeh’s Asylum Denial”
Foreign Policy. July 25, 2017

No, Hateful Speech is Not the Same Thing as Violence.
The Washington Post, June 22, 2017

It’s OK that Trump Doesn’t Care About Human Rights
Foreign Policy, June 19, 2017

Can Freedom of the Press Survive Trump’s Onslaught?
Foreign Policy, May 3, 2017

Beware the Ides of Leaving the Human Rights Council
Foreign Policy, March 14, 2017

“‘America First’ Puts Freedom and Leadership Last
CNN, March 5, 2017

What’s at Stake When Trump Discredits the Press
Just Security, March 1, 2017

Donald Trump Acts Like an Authoritarian Thug Toward the Press
The Guardian, January 12, 2017

To Fight ‘Hate Speech,’ Stop Talking About It
The Washington Post, June 3, 2016

Pushing Back Against the Tyrants
Democracy, Summer 2016

“What U.S. Publishers Owe China”
The Washington Post, May 26, 2016

Europe’s Free-Speech Apocalypse Is Already Here
Foreign Policy, March 17, 2016

Who is Entitled to Be Heard?
The New York Times, November 12, 2015

“Who Will Speak for China’s Dissidents”
Los Angeles Times, September 20, 2015

“The Fight Over Jemele Hills Tweets Won’t Go Away, It’s About Truth and Race in The Trump Era”
The Washington Post, Sep 19, 2015

“Closing a Vital Window Into China”
Foreign Policy, Februrary 4, 2015

Recent speaking engagements

March 10, 2018

Trigger Warning: Safe Spaces are Dangerous – Intelligence Squared
June 23, 2018