Jo joined English PEN in September 2012 from Index on Censorship, where she served as an award-winning Editor since 2006. She was a BBC current affairs producer for eight years and appears regularly in the media as a commentator on culture and freedom of expression, including the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, the London Review of Books.
Catherine Taylor joined English PEN in April 2014. Previously Publisher at The Folio Society, she headed up its editorial and rights teams and was instrumental in setting up the inaugural Folio Prize for global English –language fiction as well as numerous media and literary sponsorships and partnerships. Catherine has worked for organisations as diverse as The British Library, Microsoft and Amazon.co.uk, and writes regularly on books for the Guardian, Telegraph and New York Times Book Review. She has been a judge on the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize and the European Literature Prize.
Louise joined English PEN in November 2013 to lead the translation and community outreach programmes, ‘Writers in Translation’ and ‘Readers and Writers’. She brings with her seventeen years experience with BBC Radio as a producer and executive producer, including launching the World Book Club in 2002. Prior to joining English PEN, Louise was with the Open Society Foundation’s Public Health Program, where she established the Health Media Initiative to support health and human rights organisations to use innovative social media tools and strengthen their voices in shaping policies that most affect them.
Robert joined English PEN in 2009, coming from the Social Market Foundation, a Westminster think tank. He was previously director of Fifty Nine Productions, a production company, and worked on box-office favourites ‘War Horse’ and ‘Black Watch’ as well as work for the National Theatre and the Royal Opera House. He designed LiberalConspiracy.org, the UK’s most popular left-of-centre blog, and maintains his own eponymous website where he debates multiculturalism and political correctness. He studied Politics & Philosophy at the University of York.
Writers at Risk Programme Manager: Cat Lucas
Cat manages the Writers at Risk Programme, running our international campaigns on behalf of literary professionals at risk around the world. She began working at English PEN as a Writers in Prison Programme intern back in August 2007, before starting full-time as Campaigns Assistant, and later Campaigns Officer, in 2008. Cat has a degree in French and Spanish from University College London, and her translations of work by Cuban writers Jorge Olivera Castillo and Julio Cesar Galvez have been published in Index on Censorship and PEN International’s ‘Write Against Impunity’ anthology.
Writers in Translation Programme Manager: Emma Cleave
Emma Cleave graduated from Leeds University in 2007 and went on to work as an English language teacher in Spain. She subsequently trained as a teacher of Modern Foreign Languages in the UK. In 2010, Emma worked at Bootstrap Company, where she helped pilot a creative literacy project for young people, the Hackney Pirates. Emma joined English PEN in December 2010, where she manages the Writers in Translation programme. Day to day, Emma works with a wide range of literary professionals, and is passionate about reading – and ensuring access to – brilliant literature from around the world. She is also a Trustee of the Hackney Pirates, which is now established as an educational charity.
Irene is responsible for PEN’s work with prisons in the UK. Her background is in film making and Drama and she has an MA in Life Writing from Goldmiths, University of London. She worked as a writer in residence in a male prison for 4 years.
Julia joined PEN in June 2012. She worked previously at the Charles Dickens Museum and the Literature Department at the British Council. She graduated in 2006 with a BA in English Literature from Oxford University.
Mazin joined English PEN in July 2011. His background is in development and fundraising, mainly in the youth and arts sectors. He works across both the Readers & Writers and Writers in Translation Programmes.
Jenna joined English PEN in 2013 and looks after the membership scheme part-time. While not at PEN, she runs a social enterprise to promote gender equality in the arts. Jenna has an MA in Parisian History and Culture from the University of London.
Paul joined PEN as part-time Finance Manager in September 2011. A Chartered Accountant, his previous career involved various Finance Director positions in West End advertising and brand management agencies from which he retired to pursue academic and other interests in 2002. Recently Finance Manager (and now a Trustee) of the Poetry Society, he splits his time between financial management in the charity sector, lecturing on Business Studies and Personal Finance with the Open University, and studying and lecturing on the History and Philosophy of Science, in which he holds an MSc awarded by Imperial College.
Intern: Rebekah Murrell
Rebekah joined English PEN as an intern in April. Bekah has previously worked with independent literary collectives and publishing houses Kwani Trust and Peepal Tree Press, and currently volunteers with Community Arts North West and Booktrust. She also edits a blog for a South Manchester-based arts collective. She recently graduated from the University of Manchester, where she read English Literature.