Words without Borders is pleased to announce the election of Joanne Leedom-Ackerman and Maaza Mengiste to the board of the directors of Words without Borders, effective October 29, 2014.

 “We are thrilled to welcome two such talented individuals to our board of directors,” said Samantha Schnee, Chair. “Joanne and Maaza bring invaluable experience as writers, educators, board members, and engaged public intellectuals, which will support Words without Borders as we grow our nascent education program in the coming years.”

 JOANNE LEEDOM-ACKERMAN is a novelist, short story writer, and journalist.  Her works of fiction include The Dark Path to the River and No Marble Angels.  Former International Secretary of PEN International, she is a Vice President of PEN International and former Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee.  She serves on the Board of PEN American Center, where she is currently a Vice President, and the PEN/Faulkner Foundation in Washington, DC.  She also serves on the board of directors of Poets and Writers, the International Crisis Group, the International Center for Journalists, and Refugees International. She is an emeritus trustee of Brown University and Johns Hopkins University, and chair of Johns Hopkins University Press Advisory Board. She holds MA degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Brown University and graduated from Principia College. Joanne is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

 MAAZA MENGISTE is a Fulbright Scholar and the award-winning author of Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books and named one of the best books of 2010 by the Christian Science Monitor, the Boston Globe, and other publications. Her work can be found in the Guardian, the New York Times, BBC Radio 4, World Literature Today, Words without Borders, Granta, and Lettre International, among other places. Her second novel is forthcoming from W.W. Norton. Maaza has won fellowships from Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Prague Summer Program, and the Emily Harvey Foundation. She was the 2013 Puterbaugh Fellow. She recently completed a documentary project, Girl Rising, with 10×10 Films, that focuses on girls’ education globally. 

 WORDS WITHOUT BORDERS is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of cultural understanding through the translation, publication, and promotion of international literature. To date WWB has translated over 1,900 pieces of literature and poetry representing 105 languages by writers from 124 countries. In 2014, WWB launched WWB Campus, an online education initiative designed to bring contemporary international literature into the high school and college classroom.

 WWB has been featured in the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, the Boston Globe, the Guardian (UK), Vanity Fair, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as in various foreign-language papers and numerous literary blogs. Our anthologies of international literature include Literature from the Axis of EvilTablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry. Our most recent e-anthology is Words without Borders: The Best of the First Ten Years