Our International Secretariat, 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 Secretariat 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.
Carles Torner, Executive Director
Carles Torner is a Catalan writer. He has been active in PEN International’s work for over twenty years; in that time he has served as a member of the board, chair of the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee. He has also participated in several missions for imprisoned writers. He has published essays and poems about PEN’s defense of freedom of expression across the world.
Before joining PEN as Executive Director, he was director of the Literature and Humanities Department at the Ramon Llull Institute, where he was in charge of the presence of Catalan literature as guest of honour at the Frankfurt book fair and the Guadalajara International book fair. He holds a PhD from the university of Paris VIII and is a lecturer in Communication and International Relations at Blanquerna, Universitat Ramon Llull, in Barcelona.
Eva Okunbor, Executive Assistant
Eva Okunbor works part-time as the assistant to the Executive Director. Since graduating from LSE with a degree in International Relations she gained extensive administrative, research and event management experience from working in government, NGOs, think tanks and in private business.
Eva.Okunbor [at] pen-international.org
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.
Anthony.Archer [at] pen-international.org
Sandrine Fameni, Finance and Administration Officer
Sandrine works closely with our Finance Manager and is currently training for her ACCA qualification.
Sandrine.Fameni [at] pen-international.org
Romana Cacchioli, Director of International Programmes
Romana joined PEN International in March 2014 as Director of International Programmes. She manages the organisation’s work in delivering access to education, and human rights education, literary and civil society Programmes across the world.
Romana has twenty years’ experience working in human rights, most recently with Anti-Slavery International where she led their Programmes and Advocacy team in advocating for reform in law and policy and seeking redress through national courts for those affected by slavery. She led the development of local and grass roots organisations and movements to understand and claim their rights, including on access to quality education, and income generation activities for communities affected by slavery.
Romana.cacchioli [at] pen-international.org
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.
sarah.clarke [at] pen-international.org
Paul Finegan, Centres & Committees Officer
Paul joined the PEN team in March 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 the Executive Director.
paul.finegan [at] pen-international.org
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.
Emese.Kovacs [at] pen-international.org
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.
sahar.halaimzai [at] pen-international.org
Holly Strauss, Communications and Fundraising Officer
Holly graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature and joined PEN in March 2013 to first assist the Literary Manager, and then the Communications Manager, with upcoming publications and events. She became Communications and Fundraising Officer in November last year.
Holly.strauss [at] pen-international.org
Ruth Bubis, Press Volunteer
Ruth works part time assisting the Communications team. She is currently completing a BA Development Studies and African Studies at SOAS, University of London with a concentration on human rights, literature and communication.
Ruth.bubis [at] pen-international.org
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! series. James also manages the New Voices Award, the Publishers Circle and the Writers Circle. Outside of PEN he is a commissioning editor for magazines Asymptote and The White Review. Previously he worked as a journalist and in publishing.
james.tennant [at] pen-international.org
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.
ann.harrison [at] pen-international.org
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.
Cathy.McCann [at] pen-international.org
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
tamsin.mitchell [at] pen-international.org
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.
Patricia.Diaz [at] pen-international.org
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.
cathal.sheerin [at] pen-international.org
Alev Yaman, Turkey Researcher and Campaigner
Alev is responsible for PEN International’s research and campaigning on freedom of expression issues in Turkey. A graduate of the London School of Economics, she has worked for various London-based organisations specialising in freedom of expression, migration studies and the rule of law. She is the author of The Gezi Park Protests: the impact on freedom of expression in Turkey.
Erda Halisdemir, Turkey Research and Campaigns Assistant
Erda is a translator and human rights advocate who has worked on freedom of expression issues in Turkey for a number of London-based organisations including Article 19. He is responsible for assisting PEN’s Turkey and Europe work.
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.
Emma.Wadsworth-Jones [at] pen-international.org
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. She is responsible for coordinating all aspects of PEN’s annual Congress, working with each host Centre from planning to implementation. Jena has experience in working in the field of human rights within both an NGO and inter-governmental setting. She holds a postgraduate degree in human rights.
Jena.patel [at] pen-international.org
Diyaz Kendzhiev, Congress Volunteer
Diyaz Kendzhiev is currently studying Business Management at the London School of Business and Finance. Fluent in English, Russian and conversant in Uzbek, Kyrgyz and Uyghur he is assisting PEN’s Congress Officer and other staff members in the preparation of PEN International’s 80th Congress, which will be held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 2014.
Darya Gnidash, Volunteer Translator (Russian)
Darya Gnidash is currently studying International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. Fluent in Ukrainian, Russian and English, Darya is assisting with the translation of various documents, particularly into and from Russian. She also has advanced knowledge of French and Spanish and previous experience translating for an NGO.