PEN America

Program Manager, Digital Safety and Training Resources (Lit & Ed)

PEN America, a nonprofit organization working at the intersection of literature and human rights, seeks a dynamic and results-oriented program manager to lead our work to support writers, academics, and their allies and employers—including publishing houses and universities—in the face of online abuse and other digital safety challenges in the U.S.—particularly in response to the wave of book bans and educational gag orders sweeping the country. This is a full-time position based at PEN America’s New York City headquarters and reports to the director, digital safety and free expression; applicants based in Washington, D.C. will also be considered. This position has an initial 12-month term subject to extension contingent on funding.

The program manager will drive forward our work to protect and support writers, academics, and their allies and employers in the U.S. by: managing and conducting online abuse defense trainings and giving public presentations; expanding our engagement with affected audiences in the literary and academic worlds and forging new partnerships; coordinating with PEN America’s teams focused on the freedom to read and learn, national outreach, and literary programming; and following current developments in digital safety, censorship, and free expression. The program manager will have opportunities for public speaking, travel, and relationship building in the literary, academic, and digital rights sectors.

The ideal candidate will be deeply committed to making online spaces safer and more equitable, passionate about protecting free expression rights online, possess an understanding of intersectionality, and be attuned to the challenges to digital safety in an era of rapidly evolving technology. The position requires an energized, highly organized, and collaborative work style; the ability to navigate complex and potentially fraught questions about identity, trust, and conflict in online spaces; and the drive to build PEN America’s expertise and impact in this field. It offers substantial potential for professional advancement as PEN America’s programming in this area expands.

Online abuse—from violent threats and hateful slurs to sexual harassment and doxing—poses a direct and pressing threat to free expression. Writers, academics, librarians, journalists, and others in the literary and media space are targeted for their visibility, their profession, and their identity; they are on the frontline of free expression defense in institutions nationwide, facing harassment especially in conjunction with efforts to ban books and censor public education. In response, PEN America has deepened its commitment to fighting online abuse by: 1) equipping those facing abuse with resources and training to defend themselves; 2) collaborating with publishing houses, universities, media organizations, and other employers to protect and support those facing harassment; 3) conducting research and advocacy to hold social media companies accountable for online harms; and 4) working in coalition with partner organizations to fight back.

In alignment with PEN America’s current policy, all applicants should be available to report to the office at least three days per week. This policy is subject to change.


  • Conduct training and organize convenings on digital safety and online abuse defense for writers and academics, as well as their allies and employers, and build out services to those audiences within our training program
  • Build sustained partnerships with writers and literary organizations —including publishers and professional associations—to strengthen protection and support for writers and their allies
  • Collaborate across teams to provide individualized, trauma-informed support on digital safety to writers and their allies under attack for their work
  • Develop digital safety resources for writers, academics, and their allies and employers, including drafting and updating content in collaboration with multiple teams
  • Coordinate across PEN America teams—including digital safety, freedom to read, U.S. free expression programs, national outreach, and literary programs—to support authors, publishing houses, academics, and universities
  • Attend and speak at conferences and other public events, as needed
  • Support the digital safety team in their work with journalists, newsrooms, and the media industry, as needed
  • Follow current developments in online abuse and anti-harassment
  • Research funding opportunities and draft proposals to sustain and build the program
  • Provide support on intern recruitment and management, recordkeeping, financial reconciliation, and other administrative tasks as appropriate
  • Passionately support and advance PEN America’s mission to safeguard free expression in the United States and abroad


  • A minimum of three to five years of relevant experience in publishing, journalism or media, education, technology, and/or digital safety
  • At least one year of experience working on issues of online harassment, gender-based violence, and/or trauma and self-care preferred
  • Strong knowledge of free expression issues, including book bans, and familiarity with contemporary debates over online harassment
  • Experience and facility with public speaking, public education, or public programs/event organizing
  • Experience with coordination, networking, and partnership-building
  • Strong organizational skills, including managing deadlines, juggling multiple projects and tracking impact
  • General knowledge of grant writing and reporting
  • A diplomatic disposition and great facility with interpersonal communication and relationship-building
  • Personal qualities of integrity, empathy, patience, respect for others, and a willingness to learn
  • Track record for independent problem-solving, innovation, creativity, and effectiveness
  • Ability to travel an estimated 30% of the time, with availability to work some nights and weekends as necessary in relation to travel
  • Commitment to PEN America’s mission, centered on the celebration and defense of free expression for all. Willingness to defend the right to engage in speech that may be offensive and discomfiting and that reflects a wide range of political opinions and ideologies. PEN America promotes open and respectful dialogue across difference, and we work to allow a diversity of perspectives to flourish
  • Commitment to PEN America’s advocacy and support for writers, artists and their allies around the world, without regard to the ideology or actions of their country's government


Salary and Benefits: PEN America offers competitive compensation and full benefits. The salary range for this position is $65k-75k, commensurate with experience. Candidates whose expectations are outside this range are welcome to apply, as PEN America is open to considering talented individuals at varying stages of their careers. PEN America’s benefits package includes medical, dental, and vision health insurance, paid time off, 10 paid holidays, pre-tax commuter benefits and a 403b retirement plan.

Please note: This position has an initial 12-month term subject to extension contingent on funding.


Please submit a cover letter, resume, and unedited writing sample to Use “Program Manager, Digital Safety Training and Resources (Literature)” and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Program Manager, Digital Safety Training and Resources (Literature) – Jane Doe”). Only complete applications will be reviewed, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

PEN America is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices, and in order to build the strongest possible workforce, actively seeks a diverse applicant pool.

No phone calls, please.


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free 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.


Contact Information

120 Broadway
New York
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