We’re pleased to welcome Karen Phillips as the new executive director of Words without Borders. She joined us in late September and has hit the ground running with preparations for our upcoming 10th Anniversary Gala and preparations for the launch of Words without Borders Campus.
Karen comes to us from the fields of international cultural affairs and freedom of expression, having worked previously at the Committee to Protect Journalists, PEN American Center, freeDimensional, and the Americas Society. Karen holds a degree in nonprofit management and cultural policy from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service and studied Spanish literature as an undergraduate at Smith College. She has consulted for cultural organizations in Africa, Latin America, and Europe such as Guapamacátaro Residency in Art and Ecology (Mexico), Maisha Film Lab (Uganda), and the German Commission for UNESCO (Germany).
It’s an exciting time for Words without Borders—one month before we celebrate our first decade of publishing the finest contemporary international literature and launch our 10th-anniversary e-anthology, Words without Borders: The Best of the First Ten Years. About Karen’s appointment, WWB founder and president Alane Salierno Mason said, “WWB is incredibly fortunate to find an inspired, energetic new captain who knows how to navigate the world of international and cultural not-for-profits and is well prepared to take ours on the very ambitious voyage we’ve planned for the next ten years.”
Among Karen’s key priorities will be the launch of Words without Borders Campus, our new education initiative that will reorganize and recontextualize WWB’s diverse literary offerings for use by educators and students in a sister website. By offering educators the practical tools needed to incorporate world literature into curricula, the program seeks to create a virtual learning space without borders where meaningful, and lasting, cross-cultural understanding will flourish.
“There couldn’t be a more thrilling time to join Words without Borders,” Karen said. “In addition to celebrating our tenth birthday, we’re on the cusp of launching a new program that builds off our core asset—our rich catalog of world literature— and will expand our impact by reaching the next generation of global citizens.”
Welcome aboard, Karen!