Katie Blankenship

Katie Blankenship, photo by Daniel Oliveras de Ita
Katie Blankenship, photo by Daniel Oliveras de Ita

Katie Blankenship is the inaugural director of PEN America’s new Florida office. She oversees advocacy in defense of free expression, including strategies for educating and empowering writers and other communities, in the state that has led the nation in book bans and education gag orders limiting what can be taught and learned in public classrooms.

Blankenship came to PEN America from the ACLU of Florida, where she served as deputy legal director. She was on the litigation team for Pernell v. Lamb, which secured a preliminary injunction of the Stop WOKE Act in higher education, and she developed the ACLU of Florida’s First Amendment campaign to create integrated advocacy strategies to defend free speech and academic freedom in Florida.