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Vacancy: International Programmes Director

SALARY: £45,000 - £50,000 depending on experience

DURATION: Permanent Full time

DATE AGREED: November 2018

REPORTING TO: Executive Director

Based in London with frequent international travel

PEN International promotes literature and freedom of expression and is governed by the PEN Charter and the principles it embodies: unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations. Founded in London in 1921, PEN International – PEN’s Secretariat – connects an international community of writers. It is a forum where writers meet freely to discuss their work; it is also a voice speaking out for writers silenced in their own countries. Through Centres in over 100 countries, PEN operates on five continents. PEN International is a non-political organisation which holds Special Consultative Status at the UN and Associate Status at UNESCO.

Job Summary

The role sits within the Senior Management Team and is responsible for developing and delivering PEN International’s projects and programmes in line with the organisation’s objectives, including its sub-granting programme.  The role is to provide leadership and support in the development of sustainable PEN Centres; to lead and manage PEN’s monitoring and learning framework and support cross - organisational planning and reporting; and, to support the development of fundraising applications and reporting for statutory, trusts and foundations in support of PEN’s international programmes.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

  • As a member of the Senior Mangement Team, contribute to the overall management of the organisation including contributing to development of organisational policy and governance;
  • Team manager for the International Programmes team with responsibility for direct line management of seven staff - responsible for setting targets and objectives and driving strategy.
  • Lead the development and delivery of international programmes including PEN sub-granting programme, in line with PEN International’s strategic objectives;
  • Responsible for contributing to PEN fundraising efforts including grant management, maintaining donor relations, the development of applications to statutory, trust and foundations; as well as ensuring grant compliance and timely reporting;
  • Act as the central co-ordination point for PEN’s Committees and Centres including in the development and support of new PEN Centres;
  • Responsible for developing tools, training and knowledge sharing systems which meet the diverse needs of PEN Centres to support impactful and sustainable programmes;
  • Responsible for PEN International’s learning framework, with oversight of monitoring, evaluation and learning across the organisation and membership;
  • Responsible for the development and management of programme budgets; maintaining financial records and agreeing and taking part in evaluation systems;
  • Maintain an awareness of political, gender and cultural sensitivities and ensure that these are considered during all strategic discussions and development of programmes;
  • Represent the organisation as required both within PEN and to other organisations and the international media;
  • Deputise for the Executive Director as required.

Person Specification


  • At least 8 years’ working in the human rights, international development or cultural sector with at least 3 years’ experience in a senior management role; expertise in Freedom of Expression would be a strong advantage.
  • Experience of providing leadership and line management to multiple teams, setting direction, and assessing progress/performance towards achieving PEN’s organizational goals
  • Strategic vision and demonstrable experience of strategic planning and delivery of projects and programmes at an international level, often in challenging environments
  • Experience in fundraising and grant management including in the development of proposals and report writing for statutory funders, trusts and foundations
  • Experience of developing and overseeing monitoring and evaluation tools, as well as developing and delivering training in varied learning methodologies for different contexts
  • Experience of working with grassroots organisations, to support growth through the delivery of capacity building training for impact and knowledge sharing
  • Experience of negotiation and ability to communicate effectively within a large and culturally diverse organization
  • Experience in commissioning and managing research projects
  • Experience in the development and management of complex budgets
  • Fluency in both spoken and written English and one other language, preferably Spanish
  • Sensitivity to the particular challenges faced by those discriminated against on grounds of identity, including gender, language and social and economic marginalization.


  • A good understanding of the challenges faced by a volunteer membership organisation
  • Knowledge of civil society and non-governmental institutions working internationally
  • Demonstrated interest in literature and the role of literature in the promotion of freedom of expression an inter-cultural dialogue.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equal opportunities and cultural diversity and experience of how this is applied organizationally and programmatically.


  • Willingness to uphold the values of the Charter of PEN International.
  • Commitment to accountability, transparency and fairness.

Terms of Employment

1. Salary

 £45,000 – £50,000 gross salary per annum, we would normally expect the successful candidate to start at the bottom of the salary scale. However PEN International may be willing to offer a salary above the starting salary, depending on skills and experience.

2. Position

Full-time permanent contract, based in London

3. Hours

35 hours per week, normally worked Monday to Friday, flexible working hours will be considered.

4. Benefits and holidays

Benefits 25 days’ holiday per annum, plus statutory holidays.

PEN International operates a statutory contributory pension scheme.

5. Notice

One month during probationary period and three months thereafter

6. Probationary Period

Six months, subject to written confirmation

7. Contract of Employment

Ideally, the successful candidate must be eligible to work in the UK.

Recruitment process

  • Candidates should submit their CV and a covering letter which addresses all aspects of the Job Description and Person Specification, to  or by post to PEN International, Koops Mill, 162-164 Abbey Street, London, SE1 2AN, UK. Kindly quote reference number DIP/2018
  • Applications must be submitted by 10:00 hours GMT on 27th January 2019
  • We shall aim to inform shortlisted candidates of the interview process including interview dates and times by 31st January 2019. Interviews likely to be held 7th and 8th February 2019.
  • Due to our limited resources we are only able to contact shortlisted candidates

PEN International is an equal opportunities employer