The charity is overseen by our board of trustees, elected by the membership of English PEN
Maureen Freely, Chair of Trustees
Maureen Freely is an author, journalist, translator and academic, who has written seven novels, as well as non-fiction. She is professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick and the director of its writing programme. Her novel Sailing through Byzantium was named as one of the best novels of 2014 in both the TLS and the Sunday Times, and she has translated five books by the Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk. She is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Maureen has worked closely with English PEN over the past 15 years, with a particular focus on freedom of expression in Turkey: she has taken part in fact-finding missions and attended many trials, as well as speaking out for writers at risk.
Claire Armitstead is books editor for the Guardian and the Observer, charged with safeguarding the two newspapers’ literary heritage while overseeing the transition to a unified digital-first operation. She was literary editor for the Guardian from 1999-2010, and arts editor from 1995-1999. During her two years in the job, she has pioneered new ways of championing literature online. Over the last year she has worked closely with the British Council and the Edinburgh International Book Festival to bring the World Writers’ Conference to the widest possible audience. She presents the Guardian books podcast and is a regular speaker on literature on radio and at public events.
Philip Gwyn Jones
Philip Gwyn Jones has been an editor and publisher for 25 years. He spent 15 years at HarperCollins, 8 of them as Publisher of Flamingo, before leaving to found the independent house Portobello Books in late 2004, with the backing of philanthropist Sigrid Rausing, a year later acquiring and integrating Granta Books. He left Granta/Portobello in 2013. He was the first editor to bring British readers writers such as Katherine Boo, Jenny Erpenbeck, Edward Hollis, Naomi Klein, Jhumpa Lahiri, Patrick Ness, and Arundhati Roy. Philip served for 3 years on PEN’s Writers in Translation Committee. He also serves as a Trustee of the Royal Literary Fund.
Daniel was previously a member of the board for 5 years, resigning in 2015. He is the author of a number of works of non-fiction, including the history book The Tower Menagerie, and one of the editors of The Ultimate Book Guide, a series of reading guides for children and teenagers, and a new edition of the Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature.
His translation of The Book of Chameleons by José Eduardo Agualusa won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2007. His translation of A General Theory of Oblivion, also by José Eduardo Agualusa, won the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award. His other translations include work by novelists José Luís Peixoto, Philippe Claudel, María Dueñas, José Saramago, Eduardo Halfon, Gonçalo M. Tavares, and others.
He is a former chair of the Translators Association and the Society of Authors, as well as national programme director of the British Centre for Literary Translation.
Sanjay Jawa – Honorary Treasurer
Sanjay Jawa is the Group Chief Financial Officer at QualiTest.
Professor Anthony Julius is a highly regarded litigation lawyer – currently Deputy Chairman of Mishcon de Reya. He has been hugely supportive to PEN, offering pro bono support from Mishcon. He has also recently been appointed as first Chair in Law and the Arts at UCL. He has considerable experience of fundraising with the Princess Diana Memorial Fund.
Anthony is also a noted scholar and author who has written extensively on law, literature, art and culture. He is currently writing a book on the censorship of literature and the visual arts.
Rosie Meredith began her career in educational philanthropy in 2002 and has a wealth of higher education fundraising experience drawn from two world-leading institutions during capital campaigns – LSE and UCL. Currently a Strategic Philanthropy Manager within UCL’s Principal Giving Team, her focus is on the institution’s highest value relationships, comprising, in the main, of global philanthropists who have the capacity to make transformative gifts for UCL. This is a key position critical to the successful delivery of UCL’s £600m Campaign. Both within the UK and internationally, Rosie has created mature and sophisticated prospect pipelines with a special focus on long-term bespoke engagement strategies, complex Principal Giving and legacy relationships.
Dan Miller is a communications and public relations professional, specialising in digital media and youth culture. As Senior Vice President, Communications for VICE Media he has cultivated an in-depth understanding of creating and building brand narratives and communications strategies to further the aims of the organisation, its writers, editors, producers and directors. He has played a pivotal role in VICE’s international growth and transformation from a punk magazine into a multi-platform, global youth media brand and provider of news to young people across digital, mobile and social platforms.
Cathy has spent most of her career immersed in books initially working in publishing (Hobson’s Press, Longman, Dorling Kindersley), then bookselling (Waterstones, Heffers) and currently a Literary Festival. She was founder of Cambridge Wordfest in 2003 and since then has programmed over 1000 events. In 2013 the festival became a charity and in 2014 underwent a successful transition to Cambridge Literary Festival which stages two festivals each year plus numerous one-off events. Cathy looks forward to advising English PEN with marketing, fundraising and event curation.
Geraldine Proudler is a media lawyer. She has been defending freedom of expression since the early 1980s when she qualified as a solicitor and began acting for the Guardian. She has acted in a number of high-profile cases, including defending the Guardian against libel claims by Stoke Newington police officers alleged to be corrupt, and Jonathan AItken MP who sued the Guardian when he was a Cabinet Minister over allegations of accepting benefits from Saudi princes. She was a Trustee of the Scott Trust, which owns and protects the Guardian, for 11 years, before standing down in 2013.
Shazea is a Pakistani-Canadian poet, playwright and translator based in London, and author of two poetry collections: The Art of Scratching (Bloodaxe Books, 2015) and The Courtesans Reply (flipped eye publishing, 2012).
Since 2010, she has worked with English PEN’s outreach programme in prisons, refugee centres and schools, and was on the Readers and Writers Advisory Committee from 2012 to 2014. She also teaches with Translators in Schools and The Poetry School, and works with Living Words as a Writer in Residence in care homes with people experiencing dementia.
Samantha Schnee translates from Spanish; her most recent translation is of Mexican author Carmen Boullosa’s novel Texas: The Great Theft. She is the founding editor of WordsWithoutBorders.org, the online magazine of writing from around the world, which has published over 2,000 stories, poems, and excerpts from novels—translated from over 100 languages—since it launched in 2003. She currently chairs WWB’s board of directors. Samantha is a member of the management committee of the Translators’ Association at the Society of Authors and has been deeply involved in the development of the Literary Translators’ Centre at the London Book Fair, International Translation Day, and other initiatives serving the translation community. She currently edits the British Centre for Literary Translation’s biannual journal, ‘In Others Words’. Born in the UK and raised in the US, she has lived in London since 2009.
Honorary Vice-Presidents of English PEN
Lady Rachel Billington; William Boyd; Dame A.S. Byatt CBE; Margaret Drabble CBE; Lady Antonia Fraser CBE; Rick Gekoski; Victoria Glendinning CBE; Ronald Harwood CBE; Sir Michael Holroyd CBE; Ben Okri CBE; Sir Tom Stoppard CBE; Claire Tomalin.