Our International Office, based in central London, is staffed by a diverse and dedicated group that administer PEN International’s campaigns, programmes, events, communications and general affairs. The International Office supports PEN Centres worldwide, helping them to be active and vibrant hubs for reading and writing in their countries, and helping them to connect to one another. We work closely with the Board and Centres.
Laura McVeigh, Executive Director
Laura McVeigh is the Executive Director of PEN International. Laura has senior management experience in journalism, publishing, human rights, on international issues and within the charity sector. Prior to joining PEN International she was Global Girls Fund Director.
Read Laura’s messages to members here.
Anthony Archer, Finance Manager
Anthony Archer is the Finance Manager of PEN International. He is a Chartered Certified accountant with 35 years of experience of working in the third sector.
Ann Harrison, Programme Director, Writers in Prison Committee
Ann Harrison joined PEN International in June 2013 as the Programme Director for the WiPC. She manages the organisation’s global research and campaigning against attacks on freedom of expression and on behalf of persecuted writers. She has over 16 years’ previous experience in human rights work, most recently having worked as Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.
Sandrine Fameni, Finance and Administration Officer
Sandrine works closely with our Finance Manager and is currently training for her ACCA qualification.
Patricia Diaz, Research and Campaign Support
Patricia assists in monitoring developments regarding freedom of expression and related issues that affect writers and journalists in Asia/Pacific and Middle East, alongside the researcher of the region. She also supports the work of the WiPC Programme Director monitoring issues on Europe, and assisting her work regarding the United Nations, specifically the Universal Periodic Review.
Cathy McCann, Researcher: Asia/Middle East
Cathy is responsible for PEN International’s research and campaigning on attacks against free expression in the regions of Asia/Pacific and Middle East/North Africa.
Ghias Aljundi, Researcher and Development Officer: Middle East
Ghias is responsible for PEN International’s research and campaigning on attacks against free expression in the Middle East and North Africa; he also supports PEN Centre development in the region.
Tamsin Mitchell, Researcher: Africa & the Americas
Tamsin is responsible for PEN International’s research and campaigning on attacks against free expression in Africa and the Americas since 2007. A graduate of Glasgow University, Balliol College and the University of London, prior to joining PEN she worked for Y Care International, Peace Brigades International UK and Action Against Hunger UK
Cathal Sheerin, Researcher and Campaigner: Europe
Cathal is responsible for PEN International’s research and campaigning on attacks against free expression in Europe. As a journalist and free expression campaigner, he has years of experience working for human rights NGOs and a variety of print and online publications. Interested in impunity, dictatorships and post-dictatorship societies, with extensive experience reporting on justice in post-Pinochet Chile. Cathal holds a Postgraduate qualifications in literature, journalism, Spanish.
Paul Finegan, Centres & Committees Officer/ Executive Assistant
Paul joined the PEN team in May 2011. He has worked as a researcher and campaigner for the Writers in Prison Committee and has also co-ordinated the literary work of PEN International. Currently his work focuses on providing support to PEN Centres and Committees around the world. He also works as an assistant to ED Laura McVeigh.
Sahar Halaimzai, Communications & Campaigns Manager
Sahar joined the team in July 2012, and is responsible for running Communications and Campaigns activity across PEN International’s work globally. She co-ordinates media engagement with PEN’s literary and programmes output and works closely with members of the Writers in prison Committee to ensure that its key campaigns are communicated to a broad international audience.
James Tennant, Literary Manager
James edits PEN International magazine and runs the Publishers Circle imprint. He co-ordinates all publications and literature events, including the international Free the Word! event series. James also manages the New Voices Award, the Publishers Circle and the Writers Circle. Previously he worked as a journalist and in publishing.
Emese Kovács, International Programmes Officer
Emese joined the team in October 2012. Emese’s role is to co-ordinate PEN International’s civil society programmes. In addition, Emese also provides support to PEN Centres and Networks in the field of capacity building and monitoring & evaluation. Prior to joining PEN International Emese worked at the Open Society Foundations.
Sarah Clarke, International Policy and Advocacy Officer
Sarah is responsible for managing international public policy and advocacy across PEN International’s areas of work. She highlights PEN’s work in freedom of expression, translation and linguistic rights and education to UN and regional forums. A graduate of Oxford University and Trinity College Dublin, Sarah has previously worked in human rights research, policy, and advocacy with a number of UN agencies, NGOs and academic centres.
Emma Wadsworth Jones, WiPC Research/Campaigns Assistant
Emma joined the team in October 2012 after completing a Masters in Comparative Politics (Latin America) at the LSE. She currently divides her time equally between assisting the Africa/Americas Researcher and the Asia/MENA Researcher.
Jena Patel, Congress Officer
After working at PEN in 2011 on the 77th PEN Congress in Serbia, Jena re-joined the PEN team in May 2013. Until the end of September 2013 she will be working on a part-time basis as the PEN International Secretariat focal point for the 79th PEN International Congress, being held this autumn in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Holly Strauss, Communications and Fundraising Officer
Holly recently graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature and joined PEN in March to first assist the Literary Manager, and then the Communications Manager, with upcoming publications and events.