Executive Assistant & Board Liaison

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Commensurate with experience



Start Date


Application Deadline



588 Broadway
New York
New York
United States


PEN America—an organization that stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide—seeks a highly organized, skilled, and energetic individual for full-time work as executive assistant and Board liaison to the chief executive officer (CEO) and Board of Trustees. This position offers a significant opportunity for professional growth and development in a trusted and responsible administrative role that touches on all areas of PEN America’s activities. The successful candidate will be ready to become immersed in the work of a dynamic global human rights and literary organization with an ambitious agenda to heighten its impact.

The executive assistant and Board liaison works closely with the CEO, chief operating officer, and the director of finance and administration, and engages with all members of staff. Particular emphasis is on administration, institutional advancement efforts, and organizational governance, including close contact with the Board of Trustees. The executive assistant and Board liaison is a right-hand person to the CEO and plays a critical role in the effective functioning of the PEN America management team, office, and the wider organization. Critical duties include maintaining the CEO’s schedule and keeping her on time, drafting correspondence, ensuring adequate preparation for meetings, taking notes and carrying out follow up actions, arranging travel, and handling receipts and expense reimbursement, as well as scheduling and preparing for Board and Committee meetings and liaising with Trustees and the president of PEN America’s Board. Additional duties require the assistant to work in tandem with staff across the organization to assist with events and initiatives. The executive assistant and Board liaison may be called upon to provide defined support to other members of the executive office, as well as support office administration, facilities, and general troubleshooting and problem-solving to maintain a productive work environment for staff.

The executive assistant and Board liaison will have the opportunity to make a critical difference in a fast-paced environment in an organization that is quickly evolving and expanding, with opportunities for increased responsibilities over time.

Key responsibilities include:

CEO Support

  • Overseeing the CEO’s calendar and coordinating travel
  • Managing contacts and helping ensure that all communications to the CEO are channeled appropriately and receive a requisite response
  • Drafting correspondence, including emails, letters, memos, and agendas
  • Conducting research, collecting information, and drafting content to prepare the CEO for meetings and speaking engagements
  • Maintaining comprehensive and readily accessible files

Board of Trustees Support

  • Scheduling, developing the agenda for, preparing materials for, and taking detailed minutes at full Board meetings and Board Committee meetings
  • Engaging with Trustees and cultivating their participation in PEN America
  • Liaising with the president of PEN America’s Board

Cross-Departmental Initiatives

  • Organizing directors’ meetings, all-staff meetings, and other cross-departmental planning processes and tracking action items to ensure initiatives are progressing
  • Planning and executing organizational activities, including staff retreats and office events
  • Recruitment and supervision of executive interns
  • Anticipating needs, troubleshooting, and problem-solving across organizational operations
  • Other duties as assigned

Requirements include:

  • B.A. degree and superb academic credentials
  • At least one year in a similar assistant role, either in business or with a nonprofit organization, supporting a person in a leadership position
  • Exacting attention to detail
  • High energy and a boundless work ethic
  • Capacity to track and systematize information
  • Ability to stay highly organized and multitask in a fast-paced environment, and to work quickly and accurately under pressure
  • Independence, good judgment, and diplomatic skills
  • Professionalism and excellent interpersonal skills
  • Exemplary capacity to maintain confidentiality and discretion
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Experience supporting a Board of Directors a plus
  • Interest in literature, human rights, and/or advocacy are a plus

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.

Applicants for this position must possess current U.S. work authorization valid for a minimum of two years from start date.


PEN offers competitive compensation and benefits, commensurate with experience.

Professional Level

Entry level

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply


Contact: Please submit a cover letter, resume, unedited writing sample, and the contact information for three references. Please submit the entire application to jobs@pen.org. Please use “Executive Assistant & Board Liaison” and your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Executive Assistant & Board Liaison – Jane Doe”). Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.