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Staff

Our Staff

Our International Secretariat, based in central London, is staffed by a diverse and dedicated group that administer PEN International’s campaigns, programmes, events, communications and general affairs. The International Secretariat supports PEN Centres worldwide, helping them to be active and vibrant hubs for reading and writing in their countries, and helping them to connect to one another. We work closely with the Board and Centres.

Romana Cacchioli

Executive Director

Romana Cacchioli

Executive Director

Executive Director since October 2020, Romana Cacchioli joined PEN International in March 2014 as Director of International Programmes. Today she works closely with the International Board and manages the day-to-day operations of the Secretariat based in London, with oversight of the organisations work including fundraising and programme and strategy development.

Romana has over twenty-five years’ experience working in human rights, including at Anti-Slavery International where she led their Programmes and Advocacy team in advocating for reform in law and policy and redress through national courts for those affected by slavery. As well as Programmes Coordinator with Interights the International Centre for the Protection of Human Rights where she coordinated programmes in Asia and Africa.

Emmanuel Asamoah

Finance, HR & Admin Director and Company Secretary

Emmanuel Asamoah

Finance, HR & Admin Director and Company Secretary

Emmanuel Asamoah ACCA/MBA/MSc joined us in 2019. He began his career as a graduate in the charity/not-for-profit sector, working across finance, fundraising, governance, compliance, strategy, HR, IT/systems and policy and then led the development of its function, running and advising businesses in these areas, establishing strong financial controls, including business partnering.

He has over 16 years of experience working for YMCA, Westway Trust, Royal Society of Arts, private entities, and as well represented a local charity at the Parliament for its grant reporting.

Emmanuel is currently a Trustee/Treasurer for AGE UK H&F and SLBI, where he leads the financial transformation and resilience agenda. He is also the Chair of the Finance, Audit and Governance Committee for both organisations.

“I am passionate about PEN’s purpose and its ability to generate value for people who are marginalise. I believe in the impact of great leadership and strong governance on organisational success and very happy working with our great PEN team.”

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Sandrine Fameni

Finance & Administration Officer

Sandrine Fameni

Finance & Administration Officer

Sandrine joined PEN in August 2010 as a part time Finance and Administration Officer. Sandrine is part of the finance team, which manages the Finance, Human Resources and the IT functions of the organisation. She has a Degree in Accountancy and also studied ACCA. Sandrine is a fluent French speaker.

Sandrine.fameni [at] pen-international.org

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Salwa Mohamed

Finance and Administration Officer

Salwa Mohamed

Finance and Administration Officer

Salwa joined PEN International in December 2015 as the Finance and Administration Officer. Salwa is part of the team that’s responsible for the Finance, Human Resources and the IT functions of the organisation. Salwa also currently works as a part time tutor for ACCA Foundation level and AAT in a college.

salwa.mohamed [at] pen-international.org

Olha Mukha

Congress, Committees, and New Centres Manager

Olha Mukha

Congress, Committees, and New Centres Manager

Olha is Ukrainian philosopher, cultural manager, curator, and editor. She joined PEN Secretariat in 2018 after leading successful PEN International Congress preparation in Lviv in 2017.

She chaired the Office of Lviv – City of literature UNESCO in Ukraine and worked as an academic researcher and university professor in Lviv and Kyiv Universities. Olha studied philosophy and law, focused on constitutional law and advocacy. Author of two books and academical publications.

Alicia Quinones

Americas Regional Programme Coordinator

Alicia Quinones

Americas Regional Programme Coordinator

Alicia is a Mexican writer, journalist and editor. For the past fifteen years she has contributed to leading newspapers, magazines and television programmes throughout Latin America. She joined PEN International as the Latin American Consultant in 2018, and as a Regional Coordinator for the Americas in 2020. She volunteered in the organisation for six years beforehand where she researched and advocated for cases in Mexico. Alicia studied literature and journalism, which focused on the Laws to do with access to Information. She is the author of three books.

alicia.quinones@pen-international.org

Nduko o'Matigere

Africa Regional Programme Coordinator

Nduko o'Matigere

Africa Regional Programme Coordinator

Nduko is a Kenyan social justice and human rights activist, civil society generalist. Before joining the PEN Secretariat in July 2020, he consulted with diverse civil society and donor programmes in Africa on program development; capacity strengthening; action research; strategy formulation, evaluations and learning support; and resource mobilization. Nduko studied Education, Literature, Linguistics; and Governance and Leadership.

Ross Holder

Asia Regional Programme Coordinator

Ross Holder

Asia Regional Programme Coordinator

Previously working as an academic at Trinity College Dublin, Ross has an established expertise on the human rights situation in Xinjiang and strengths and weaknesses of the United Nations Human Rights System. Recent academic publications include articles in the International Journal of Human Rights and Religion and Human Rights.

Ross has also been involved with a number of human rights NGOs, including Amnesty International, Front Line Defenders and the Scholars at Risk Network, working on a wide range of human rights issues.

Mina Thabet

Regional Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa

Mina Thabet

Regional Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa

Mina Thabet is an Egyptian human rights defender, activist, researcher, and writer who has been working passionately to promote freedom of expression in the Middle East since 2011. He has worked with minority communities to combat discrimination and violence against religious and ethnic minorities and promote diverse cultures, languages, and religious freedoms. Throughout his career and studies, Mina acquired established expertise on the human rights situation in the MENA region, especially in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, and Libya. He joined PEN International in December 2020 as the MENA Regional Coordinator. His vision for PEN’s work in the MENA region focuses on celebrating and promoting diversity and providing young writers with new platforms and opportunities.

Aurélia Dondo'

Europe Programme Coordinator

Aurélia Dondo'

Europe Programme Coordinator

Aurélia is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to combat freedom of expression violations in Europe and Central Asia through research, campaigning and advocacy, with a view to supporting writers at risk.

Prior to joining PEN International, Aurélia worked with Amnesty International in London, including as campaigner in the Middle East and North Africa programme, and coordinated numerous campaigns on behalf of journalists persecuted for peacefully expressing their views.

Paul Julien

Head of Development

Paul Julien

Head of Development

Paul Julien has been a charity fundraiser for 20 years and joined PEN in May 2020, following 10 years at a Palestinian NGO. He has worked with Oxfam, Freedom from Torture, and Prisoners Abroad. He holds a Master’s Degree in Critical Theory and before university worked as a professional writer and musician. He is currently working on a collection for a small poetry press.

Portia Vanderplank-Jones

Executive and Programmes Officer

Portia Vanderplank-Jones

Executive and Programmes Officer

After her MA in French at the University of St Andrews, Portia built on her knowledge of human rights and belief in social justice through her studies of International Women’s Health and Human Rights at Stanford University.

Portia’s career in the charitable sector has spanned events, communications, and fundraising. Supporting and driving the work of organisations such as Love146, The Girl Effect, Bookmark Reading Charity, and here at PEN International, she is dedicated to working with partners and supporters to increase engagement, awareness, and funding so that together we can make a real difference.

Pavlo Bilyk

Events & Data Officer

Pavlo Bilyk

Events & Data Officer

Pavlo was responsible for digital and website support in a team organizing the 83rd PEN International Congress in Lviv in 2017. He has also been involved in organization of numerous cultural and scientific events in Ukraine and France. Pavlo studied architecture and urban sociology, focusing on sustainable approaches of cities hosting mega-events.

Maria Botella

CSP Program Support Officer

Maria Botella

CSP Program Support Officer

Maria joined Pen International as Digital Consultant for the Civil Society Programme in 2020. Her main duties include supporting English and French speaking PEN Centres to increase their digital capacity and online presence as well as increasing the visibility of PEN International’s Civil Society Programme. She is an environmental and social justice advocate and activist. In the past, she worked for online campaigning and environmental organisations with a focus on campaign communication. Previous experience also includes working for digital cultural institutions and developing research on how to capture and analyse online data to identify informal charitable activity.

Maria.BT@pen-international.org

Sabrina Tucci

Communications and Campaigns Manager

Sabrina Tucci

Communications and Campaigns Manager

Sabrina joined PEN International in October 2020. Prior to that, she worked for over a decade at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International where, in her latest role, she was Amnesty’s Corporate Campaigner, focusing on business and human rights Issues. During her time at Amnesty, Sabrina also researched and campaigned on refugees and migrants’ rights issues and on the abolition of the death penalty.

Sabrina has extensive field work experience in the MENA region, Africa and Europe. Among others, she served in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as human rights monitor and advocate on behalf of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel.

Sabrina has published articles and essays on different human rights issues in both academic journals and mainstream media. She holds a Master’s Degree in Refugee Studies from City, University of London.

Sabrina.Tucci@pen-international.org

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Paminder Parbha

Programmes Manager

Paminder Parbha

Programmes Manager

Paminder is a human rights worker, artist, and a keen advocate of culture as a driver for social change and cohesion. Her key focus during her 25 years plus career has been on addressing systemic forms of discrimination and violations targeted at individuals and groups based on gender, race, caste etc., as well as advocating for women’s rights. She has also been a management committee member for a South Asian women’s group based in the UK, which run refuges for women escaping domestic violence.

She joined PEN Secretariat in November 2020. One of her key roles has been to mainstream gender and diversity throughout PEN International.

paminder.parbha@pen-international.org

Georgia Beeston

Digital Officer

Georgia Beeston

Digital Officer

Georgia joined PEN International in November 2021 as Digital Officer.

Her interests lie at the intersection between the arts and human rights. She completed her MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. She was previously Project Coordinator at COMMUN, and Associate Director at Unit 1 Gallery I Workshop. She is also co-Founder of Bosla Arts.

georgia.beeston@pen-international.org