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The Board of PEN International is elected by PEN Centres. It consists of a group of individuals from across the globe committed to representing and championing the views of PEN International, who believe that our organisation can make a vital contribution to literature and freedom of expression.

Meet our Executive Board

jrsJohn Ralston Saul – International President

John Ralston Saul, a long-time champion of freedom of expression, has been intimately involved with International PEN since the 1980s.

An award-winning essayist and novelist, Saul has had a growing impact on political and economic thought in many countries. His works have been translated into 22 languages in 30 countries. Saul is perhaps best known for his philosophical trilogy – Voltaire’s Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West, The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense and The Unconscious Civilization

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Read John Ralston Saul’s Monthly Letters to the PEN membership



Hori Takeaki – International Secretary

Hori Takeaki is a writer and anthropologist. He has published numerous works of non-fiction that focus on environmental, cultural and sociological issues,  including Anthropological Practice and Beliefs of Japanese Fishery, Is a non Hegemonic World possible?, PEN can change the World and the co-authorship of The View from Prague: Experience of the World Leaders at the Dawn of the 21st Century. Read more…


JarkkoTontti1-semiJarkko Tontti – Treasurer

Jarkko Tontti is a poet, writer, lawyer and President of Finnish PEN. He has published numerous works of fiction and collections of poetry.




Meet our Board Members


Syvestre Clancier 

Syvestre Clancier is a poet and essayist. He is the president of the French PEN Centre and was elected to the Board at the 77th PEN International Congress in Belgrade in 2011.


Marketa Hejkalova

Markéta Hejkalová

Markéta Hejkalová was born in Prague in 1960, where she studied Finnish and Russian language and literature at the Charles University. She has been an important part of the Czech literary scene ever since.

After graduating she worked for the State-Owned Publishing House. In 1991 she founded the Autumn Book Fair, the second largest in the Czech Republic, which she is still director of 19 years on. Read more…


Lee Gil-Won

Lee Gil-Won 

Mr. Lee Gil-Won is a poet. He graduated from Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea and worked for the monthly Women’s Life as the editor. Lee joined Korea PEN in 1993, and was elected as the president in 2009 after devoting himself to the development of the Korea PEN as auditor, director, chair of the planning committee, chief editor of PEN Literature magazine, and vice president. Korea PEN will host the 78th International PEN Congress in Seoul under his leadership. Read more…



Anders Heger

Anders Heger is a writer, the director of the Norwegian publishing company Cappelen Damm and President of Norwegian PEN.




Yang LianYang Lian

Yang Lian is a poet and an outspoken voice in world literature, culture and politics. He was born in Switzerland in 1955, and grew up in Beijing. He became part of the first ‘underground’ group of young poets in the 1970s which published the literary magazine ‘Jintian’. After the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, he became a poet in exile.

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Mohammed Sheriff

Mohammed Sheriff

Mohammed Sheriff is President of Sierra Leone PEN. He writes short stories, novellas and drama for radio, TV and the stage. He produces and directs documentary videos, short films, radio, TV and stage plays for both entertainment and development projects. Read more…



ADR by Ivo Frbezar colAntonio Della Rocca
Antonio Della Rocca is a novelist, poet and one of the founder and current President of Trieste PEN Centre.

In September 2003 he was a founder of the Trieste PEN Centre, of which he has been Secretary General, Vice President and is currently President.

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