PEN America seeks a diligent, detail-oriented, and highly energetic intern to support the work of the executive office. Working closely with the chief of staff, the executive intern will gain exposure to nonprofit governance, planning, growth, and advancement, as well as an overview of PEN America’s work. Interns will receive hands-on experience in planning and executing Board meetings and staff meetings; conducting research; drafting correspondence, memos, and minutes; and general administration. Additionally, interns are invited to attend and assist at many PEN America events.

Past interns have gone on to find work at some of the most prestigious newspapers, advocacy organizations, publishing houses, and magazines in the country, including The New Yorker, Penguin, StoryCorps, and the Open Society Foundations.


  • Provide support to the chief of staff, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, and director of finance and administration on institutional governance, planning, growth, and advancement
  • Draft and proofread high-impact letters, correspondence, and memos for the executive office
  • Assist with preparation for quarterly Board meetings, as well as directors’ meetings, all-staff meetings, and other meetings for the chief of staff and chief executive officer. Prepare agenda and draft and proofread minutes and other relevant materials
  • Conduct research on Trustees and Trustee candidates, speakers for events, and prospects
  • Assist with the management of the internship program, including the Intern Speaker Series and other forms of professional development
  • Ensure a well-functioning office environment including: updating databases and contact lists, printing, scanning, and mailing


  • Strong work ethic
  • Exemplary attention to detail and excellent organizational skills
  • Professionalism, excellent interpersonal skills, and discretion
  • Demonstrated capability to work independently and efficiently, to prioritize and simultaneously handle multiple tasks, and to adhere to deadlines
  • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Willingness to learn new skills and roll up one’s sleeves to get the job done
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Word and the Windows operating system preferred. Fluency in Google Drive document management and suite of applications
  • Interest in literature, human rights, and/or advocacy

This is an unpaid position. Interns who work more than 15 hours per week are eligible for a local travel stipend. PEN America internships are also eligible for college credit.

To apply: Please email a cover letter (one page maximum) and resume to Executive Assistant and Board Liaison Madison Gonzalez at [email protected] with the subject line “PEN America Executive Internship.” Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. No phone calls, please.

About PEN America: PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. PEN America is the largest of more than 100 centers of PEN International. For more than 90 years, we have been working together with our colleagues in the international PEN community to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others. Our strength is our membership—a nationwide community of novelists, journalists, editors, poets, essayists, playwrights, publishers, translators, agents, and other professionals, and an even larger network of devoted readers and supporters who join with them to carry out PEN America’s mission.