PEN America

Director of Finance and Administration

To Apply

PEN America has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications may be directed in confidence to:
Anne McCarthy, Senior Director and COO
Harris Rand Lusk
122 East 42nd Street
Suite 3605
New York, NY 10168

Please put the words “PEN America Finance” in the subject line of your e-mailed application.


PEN America is seeking to identify a Director of Finance and Administration to join its senior team.  This is an opportunity to help this non-profit organization continue to expand its work to celebrate literary excellence and promote free expression in the United States and internationally. The strategic and supportive work of the Director will contribute to PEN America’s growing impact in the literary community and human rights field.

Background of the Organization:
PEN America’s mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Its membership of nearly 5,000 novelists, journalists, poets, dramatists, editors, and others includes many of the country’s most prominent literary names and important emerging writers. PEN America conveys prestigious literary awards, produces the annual PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, and presents a schedule of provocative public programs on pressing contemporary questions. PEN America’s work in defense of free expression includes campaigns on behalf of writers harassed, imprisoned, and sometimes killed for their work, advocacy to protect press freedom, and ground-breaking research on issues undermining free speech rights domestically and internationally. The organization is committed to bringing forward voices from marginalized communities and expanding dialogue across boundaries and borders. PEN America is the largest of the more than 100 centers globally that form the PEN International network.

PEN America is a very busy and fast-growing organization with a staff of more than 30 at its headquarters in New York’s SoHo and office in Washington, D.C.  Its current budget is $6 million, and continues to grow as the organization widens its donor base and expands activities into new arenas and geographic areas.  Its funding comes from a variety of sources, including foundation and government grants, individual donors, membership dues, and partnerships.


PEN America is seeking a smart, hardworking, and experienced financial manager to become its next Director of Finance and Administration (“DFA”).  Reporting directly to the Chief Operating Officer, the DFA will be responsible for all financial and administrative activities for PEN America, including financial management and reporting, budget, cash management, general accounting, banking, payroll and investment, human resources management, information technology and office services, among other responsibilities.    As a key member of the senior leadership team, the DFA must be a detail-oriented, strategic leader who can manage the financial and administrative needs of the organization, be responsive to the leadership and the Board, work closely with the auditors, and collaborate constructively with program managers.

As an important part of the executive team, it is critical that the DFA be capable of integrating smoothly into the senior management at PEN America, fitting into the organization’s fast-paced and ambitious culture.  The DFA will work with the Executive Director, the COO, the Finance Committee and the Board, departmental directors and other staff in a supportive and direct manner.  The DFA will have strong interpersonal skills, excellent written and oral communication skills, and a hands-on management style. It is critical that the DFA be a problem-solver, ready to identify and analyze challenges as they arise and propose and implement solutions.  In addition, the DFA will be of the highest integrity and possess sound judgment as well as a sense of humor.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Manage PEN America’s overall budget and finances as well as oversee the management and maintenance of all finance and accounting systems.
  • Coordinate the budgeting process and timetable, working with the leadership and program staff to develop the annual budget.
  • Work with staff to facilitate comparison between actual and projected results and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Manage the organization’s banking and fiduciary relationships, including, investments, retirement funds and line of credit under the guidance of the Board Finance Committee.
  • Manage the relationship with the PEO to ensure that human resource needs are being met.
  • Manage administrative needs including facilities.
  • Serve as a member of senior staff, participating in the development and implementation of overall policies, long-range planning, and daily operational goals and objectives.
  • Develop and coordinate short- and long-range business and financial plans.
  • Support the preparation and filing of required financial reports to government and foundation funders and major individual donors.
  • Develop and implement controls, systems and procedures for effective operations and timely monitoring and reporting, including processes to facilitate information flows between Finance and Institutional Development departments
  • Provide vision for development of Finance and Administration functions and leadership on multi-department initiatives including e-commerce and database development.
  • Manage relationship with external auditor and lead the annual audit to successful and timely conclusion.
  • Provide primary support to Finance Committee of the Board and supply regular updates the Board.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in Accounting, Finance, Business Administration or a related field; Advanced Degree preferred.
  • Commitment to the mission and goals of PEN America.
  • Minimum of eight years of executive level management experience in a multi-faceted financial operation with significant budgeting and accounting responsibilityin a nonprofit organization.
  • Demonstrated success in leading annual audit
  • Knowledge of internal control systems used for general accounting principles and specialized nonprofit industry accounting practices and procedures.
  • Knowledge of US GAAP, internal controls and financial reporting.
  • Acumen in maintaining accurate financial records and preparing clear and accurate reports for informational, auditing, and operational use.
  • High degree of proficiency in a computer-based accounting system.
  • Ability to read, analyze, interpret and explain complex financial data.
  • Ability to multi-task and work independently, prioritizing workflow to meet critical deadlines while paying exceptionally close attention to detail and moving longer-term projects forward.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to communicate and manage effectively at all levels of the organization.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

PEN America is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and encourages all applicants regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or any other protected characteristic.  PEN America is committed to having a workforce that reflects the diversity of the population that it serves at all levels within the organization.

Salary will be commensurate with experience.  For more information on PEN America, please visit its website at www.pen.org

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168