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Program Director, Disinformation and Community Engagement
Location: New York, New York
Type: Full Time
PEN America, a growing nonprofit organization that stands at the intersection of literature and human rights, seeks an innovative and adept professional to serve as program director of disinformation and community engagement, driving forward an expanding area of work engaging with communities to defend against disinformation during the 2022 and 2024 election cycles. This is a full-time position within PEN America’s Free Expression Programs department, reporting to the U.S. Free Expression Director. The position will be based in Florida, Texas, or Arizona, or at PEN America’s offices in New York, Washington, D.C., or Los Angeles.
The program director of disinformation and community engagement will build and manage a program to foster resilience to disinformation among communities in three geographic locations across the U.S. Working with populations disproportionately targeted by disinformation in states likely to see closely contested elections in 2022 and 2024, the program director will build on PEN America’s robust track record of work on disinformation and media literacy to: develop and deepen partnerships with, and strengthen connections among community leaders, activists, and local journalists; organize events and convenings to foster community dialogue and connections among local and regional media to develop access to trustworthy information; work with local contacts to monitor and track how information and disinformation–especially related to elections–flows within communities; and develop resilience to disinformation by providing disinformation defense workshops and resources tailored to the needs of each community. The program director will develop, test, and refine approaches and share learning, with significant responsibility and autonomy to drive this area of work forward and represent it publicly.
The successful candidate will be a dynamic, self-directed, highly-organized leader possessing experience with community outreach and organizing, public communications, research and writing, and event organizing. Expertise in combatting disinformation is preferred, although candidates with the capacity to develop this capability based on previous related work will be considered. They will be attuned to electoral politics and should bring their own connections to the activist, journalism, and/or media literacy communities in at least one of the identified program locations.
Provide the vision and operational planning for a multi-year program operating in three geographic locations. The program director will oversee consultants working in each location.
Cultivate and expand working relationships, coalitions, and partnerships with other organizations working on disinformation, elections, and related issues at the local and national level; and with local journalism outlets and other key community stakeholders in each geographic location.
Develop resources, coordinate and lead workshops, and/or identify and oversee consultants to assist with direct delivery of programming
Synthesize findings from community-level programming in order to: feed into national-level discourse on disinformation and elections; inform PEN America’s advocacy with platforms and policymakers; and offer thought leadership and unique insights on how to effectively foster resilience to disinformation. This will include overseeing the development of two briefing papers summarizing lessons learned after the 2022 and 2024 elections.
A minimum of approximately three to six years of relevant experience including in public advocacy, community organizing, field research, free speech, civil liberties, press freedom, elections, and/or related areas
Expertise in the manifestations and implications of disinformation and/or media literacy strongly preferred but not required
Demonstrated leadership and program building success, including in effective management of programs with multiple moving parts; A track record for developing and executing effective coalitions and campaigns
Demonstrated ability to network, build external relationships, and mobilize coalitions
A track record of showing initiative and creative problem solving skills
Strong cultural competence in working with and within diverse communities, and a commitment to equity and inclusion as fundamental elements of community programming;Experience working with community media and/or disinformation-targeted communities is also a plus
Exceptional communication skills; Experience with training, leading workshops, and/or other forms of public speaking preferred; Fluency in Spanish a plus
Willingness to travel up to 40% of the time
Salary and Benefits: PEN offers competitive compensation and benefits, commensurate with experience.
Please submit a cover letter, resume, unedited writing sample, and the contact information for three references. Submit the entire application to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use “Program Director, Disinformation” with your name as the subject of your email (for example, “Program Director, Disinformation – 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.
ABOUT PEN AMERICA:
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.
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.
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