Prior to its Annual General Meeting on 11th December 2003, the Executive had proposed Dr Alastair Niven, OBE, to fulfil the role of the 23rd President of the English Centre of International PEN. We are pleased to announce that at the AGM he was elected by acclamation. Dr Niven, a previous Director of Literature at the British Council and the Arts Council of Great Britain, declared how honoured and humbled he was to have been offered the position.
His predecessor, Victoria Glendinning CBE, was standing down after her statutory three years as President. In her last letter to the membership she said:
The past three years have been extraordinarily interesting and exciting, building on developments initiated in the previous three, in Rachel Billington’s presidency. (…) Our expanding activites in the freedom of expression field, in work with exiled writers in the UK, in providing a platform for writers from all over the world, and in the spreading of literacy and access to books and reading in our own country, are encouraging and quite impressive.”
English PEN would like to express heartfelt thanks to Victoria Glendinning for her extraordinary dedication to the organisation, and to Alastair Niven for taking on the role. We also bid farewell to our superb Vice-Chair, Blake Morrison, who has been involved with PEN for many years and to whom we owe an enormous debt of gratitude.
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/news/_583