English PEN is the founding centre of PEN International, a worldwide writers’ association with 145 centres in more than 100 countries. English PEN works to promote literature and the right to freedom of expression through a range of campaigns, events, projects and publications. This year, English PEN marks its centenary with Common Currency, a year-long programme which brings together writers, readers and activists for an ambitious collaboration with partner organisations for events, residencies, campaigns and conversations across the UK and Ireland.

We are looking for a new chair of trustees to take over from Maureen Freely who will step down in December 2021 after more than seven years.

The chair must have a commitment to the vision, mission and values of English PEN. They will provide leadership to the board ensuring that all trustees are properly engaged with our work. The chair will also offer support and challenge to the director and work closely with them and the board to ensure that English PEN is run sustainably and in accordance with its  vision and the PEN charter.

Download the full role description and person specification (PDF).

The application process is open to everyone, but we are particularly keen to receive applications from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse candidates and also D/deaf and disabled candidates as they are currently underrepresented on our board.

This is a voluntary position and is not remunerated. However, travel and when necessary, accommodation expenses may be paid.

For further information on English PEN, please download English PEN’s 2019–2020 Impact Report (PDF).

If you would like to discuss this role in confidence, please email Daniel Gorman, Director at [email protected].

To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to [email protected] no later than 1pm on Friday 9 July 2021.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to meet with representatives of the board online during the week beginning 19 July 2021.