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We currently employ staff on both a full-time and part-time basis, and provide a challenging but supportive working environment.

We offer competitive salaries and a non-contributory pension scheme with 5% employer contribution, which will comply with UK auto-enrolment requirements from February 2017; 25 days’ annual leave for full time staff; and family-friendly policies.

Many of the positions at the international office offer an opportunity for international travel.

Thank you for your interest in working for PEN International.

For all vacancies, please submit a full CV and covering letter explaining why you would like to work for PEN International and how you meet the person specification to recruitment@pen-international.org by the closing date specified for the vacancy.


The following vacancy is currently available.


Job Description

JOB TITLE:                               Campaigns and Advocacy Director, Freedom to Write                                                    Programme

SALARY:                                     £42,000 – £50,000

DURATION:                              Permanent full time

DATE AGREED:                    December 2016

REPORTING TO:              Executive Director

Based in London (with travel)

PEN International promotes literature and freedom of expression and is governed by the PEN Charter and the principles it embodies: unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations. Founded in London in 1921, PEN International – PEN’s Secretariat – connects an international community of writers. It is a forum where writers meet freely to discuss their work; it is also a voice speaking out for writers silenced in their own countries. Through Centres in over 100 countries, PEN operates on five continents. PEN International is a non-political organisation which holds Special Consultative Status at the UN and Associate Status at UNESCO.


The role sits within the Senior Management Team and is responsible for developing and implementing an overarching communications strategy for PEN International; managing and leading the Freedom to Write Programme; developing PEN’s first global campaign, managing PEN’s literary programming and oversight of PEN’s Writers at Risk protection programme.  The role is also responsible for providing leadership on policy development and high level advocacy to promote and defend freedom of expression, and other core issues of concern to PEN such as the promotion of literatures, languages and translation.


  • As a member of the Senior Mangement Team to contribute to the overall management of the organisation including contributing to development of organisational policy and governance.
  • Team manager of the Freedom to Write Programme with responsibility for direct line management of five staff and overall responsibility for further two staff – responsible for setting targets and objectives and driving strategy
  • Lead the development and delivery of PEN International’s international advocacy and communications strategy, including towards PEN’s centenary in 2012
  • Lead PEN’s global campaign as well as campaigns for individual writers and on themes important to PEN
  • Responsibility and oversight for PEN’s protection programme for writers at risk
  • Lead the development and management of research projects
  • Overall management of PEN’s literary and donor care programmes
  • Ensuring appropriate review of PEN external outputs for consistency with policy positions, international human rights standards and house style
  • High level representation of PEN to diplomats/governments, at external events and to other relevant stakeholders including the media
  • Responsible for building and maintaining effective relationshipsboth within and outside the organisation to maximise PEN’s visibility and impact
  • Responsibility for contributing to fundraising strategy for the Freedom to Write Programme and maintaining relationships with existing institutional funders
  • Responsibilities for developing and managing team budgets
  • Deputise for Executive Director and Deputy Director as required



  • At least eight years working in the human rights or cultural sector and at least three years in a senior management role within the sector.
  • Strategic vision, demonstrable experience of strategic planning and delivery of communications and advocacy campaigns
  • Experience of developing organisational policy in the human rights or cultural sectors
  • Excellent knowledge of the international human rights framework and experience of high level advocacy and representation before a wide range of actors
  • Direct experience of developing and managing campaigns on a global scale
  • Demonstrable experience of leading and developing communications for a wide range of audiences including internally for a membership organisation
  • Experience of managing multiple teams in fast-changing environments
  • Ability to set and manage budgets
  • Experience of fundraising and networking an advantage
  • Experience in commissioning and managing research projects
  • Fluency both spoken and written in English and one other language (ideally French or Spanish)


  • Awareness of the needs and challenges of a volunteer membership in a membership organisation
  • Good knowledge of contemporary global fiction


  • Willingness to uphold the values of the Charter of PEN International.
  • Commitment to accountability, transparency and fairness.
  • Sensitivity to the particular challenges faced by those discriminated against on grounds of identity, including language, gender and social and economic deprivation.
  • Commitment to equal opportunities and cultural diversity and a willingness to apply this at work.

The post requires several weeks of international travel each year.

Terms of Employment

  1. Salary
£42,000  – £ 50,000 gross salary per annum, we would normally expect the successful candidate to start at the bottom of the salary scale. However PEN International may be willing to offer a salary above the starting salary, depending on skills and experience.

  1. Position

Full-time permanent contract, based in London.

  1. Hours

35 hours per week, normally worked Monday to Friday, flexible working hours will be considered.

  1. Benefits and holidays

 Benefits 25 days’ holiday per annum, plus statutory holidays.

PEN International shall operate a statutory contributory pension scheme from February 2017.

  1. Notice

One month during probationary period and three months thereafter

  1. Probationary Period

Six months, subject to written confirmation

  1. Contract of Employment
  • Ideally, the successful candidate must be eligible to work in the UK.

Nothing in the above constitutes an offer of employment or forms any part of any contract of employment.

Recruitment process

  • Candidates should submit their CV and a covering letter which addresses all aspects of the Job Description and Person Specification, to Recruitment@pen-international.org or by post to PEN International, Koops Mill, 162-164 Abbey Street, London, SE1 2AN, UK. Kindly quote reference number DAC/FTW/2016
  • Applications must be submitted by 10:00 hours GMT on Monday 6th February 2017.
  • We shall aim to inform shortlisted candidates of the interview process including interview dates and times by 18th February 2016.
  • Due to our limited resources we are only able to contact shortlisted candidates

PEN International is an equal opportunities employer

Volunteer with us

Global Campaign Junior Fellow

The Global Campaign Junior Fellow will join the Freedom to Write Team for three days a week for at least four months from January 2017 at the offices of PEN International near London Bridge. The Fellow will report directly to the Global Campaign Manager.

Tasks will include:

  • Assisting with event planning for the campaign launch
  • Assisting with design, brand, and strategy development for the global campaign
  • Accurately translating key documents, or coordinating translation
  • Researching, maintaining and updating media lists and stakeholder contacts, and writer lists
  • Assist in the development of the campaign website
  • Manage the monitoring, dissemination and evaluation of press coverage
  • Assist in the implementation of social media and press campaigns with a special emphasis
  • Administrative support to the Communications and Campaigns team


  • oral communication skills in English
  • Excellent spoken and written Spanish and/or French
  • An interest in freedom of expression and international politics
  • Willingness to work on their own initiative as well as in a team: ability to plan, organise and prioritise own work independently or in consultation with others
  • Experience of managing small projects with multiple stakeholders and complex timelines


  • Experience of working with international media
  • Knowledge and experience of using WordPress, MailChimp, InDesign, Wix, and Outlook
  • Knowledge or Experience of office/clerical work

All volunteers must have the right to work in the UK.

Volunteers are selected after a brief interview and test. A trial period of one month will be required after which either side can reconsider the decision to continue.

This is an unpaid post. PEN will cover travel costs within reason, as well as contribute to lunches.

The volunteer will work at the PEN International headquarters, based in Bermondsey, London. Office hours are 10am-6pm, with an hour free for lunch.

To apply, email your CV and a brief letter (maximum 1 page) outlining your reasons for applying and skills you can bring to the position to recruitment@pen-international.org stating which position you are applying for in the subject line.

Successful PEN Fellows have gained:

  • Experience in working for a small human rights membership organisation
  • Improved administrative and office skills
  • Experience of working in a communications team
  • Experience of developing campaigning activities, including using social media


With a global membership speaking over 40 languages we have a regular demand for translators. We work in English, French and Spanish, but also often require translation into and from other languages. At the moment we are particularly looking for people who can translate English to FrenchArabic, Spanish and Russian.

If you are interested in supporting PEN International as a volunteer translator and gaining valuable experience of translating for a range of media for a global NGO, please get in touch. Items for translation include news articles for the web; communiqués for the membership; campaigns reports; project evaluation documents.

PEN International promotes literature and freedom of expression. Founded in 1921, our global community of writers now spans more than 100 countries. PEN International is a non-political organisation which holds Special Consultative Status at the UN and Associate Status at UNESCO.