SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
John Ralston Saul, a life-long champion of freedom of expression has been re-elected as PEN International’s President for a second term by the Assembly of Delegates at the 78th Annual Congress. He was first elected President of PEN International in October 2009. The internationally-renowned Canadian author and public intellectual is included in Utne Reader’s list of the world’s 100 leading thinkers and visionaries. His works have been translated into 23 languages in 30 countries.
In his first term as International President, John Ralston Saul brought his experience and expertise as well as his dedication to freedom of expression to PEN International. During his first three years, John Ralston Saul has seen the organisation’s profile raised as PEN International widened its public outreach. Saul visited dozens of PEN Centres around the world, directly engaging with individual centres, members and the challenges they face, as well taking the lead on the PEN’s engagement in Mexico, highlighting the culture of impunity faced by journalists in the country. Through his commitment and energy he set up the Publisher’s Circle, a group of publishers from around the world who support PEN International’s promotion of freedom of expression, literature and intellectual collaboration among publishers, writers and translators worldwide.
Looking ahead to the next three years, Saul will focus on:
• Developing the literary side of PEN International, including its Free the Word! events
• Defending endangered languages using the Girona Manifesto
• Applying the Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Digital Rights
• Violence and limits to freedom of expression, particularly in the Americas