The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) has selected Dr. Chloe Schwenke as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She began her tenure on April 5, 2019.
A seasoned nonprofit manager, writer, and educator, Dr. Schwenke has more than 30 years of experience in fundraising, program planning, and human rights activism. She most recently served as AWP’s Interim Executive Director, assisting the organization in creating a new strategic plan, transitioning to a new operational model, and establishing more efficient communication between the staff and board. Prior to her work with AWP, Dr. Schwenke served as the Director of the Global Program on Violence, Rights, and Inclusion (VRI) at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). In this role, she established a Global Research Platform and provided technical research assistance on projects addressing violence, human rights, and social inclusion, with a focus on women, girls, and members of marginalized populations. She has held various roles in Washington, DC, including Vice President of Global Affairs at Freedom House, Senior Associate/Team Leader for Civil Society & Governance at Creative Associates International, and White House Senior Advisor on Human Rights at the United States Agency for International Development. Dr. Schwenke also spent several years as an independent consultant in Maryland, focusing on organizational development, human rights, and gender equality.
An experienced public speaker and writer, Dr. Schwenke has hosted a TED Talk and has presented at the White House, Camp David, and Dartmouth College. Her memoir, Self-ish: A Transgender Awakening, was published in 2018. Dr. Schwenke holds bachelor of arts degrees in architecture and history of art from Syracuse University, a master’s degree in international affairs from Georgetown University, and a doctor of philosophy in policy studies from the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland.
In making the announcement, AWP Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Robin Reagler said, “We believe Chloe is poised to make a phenomenal contribution to AWP in the coming years, strengthening our programs, partnerships, and resources and consistently improving the quality of service that AWP provides to the creative writing community.”
“After a year helping AWP navigate substantial changes in the association’s operational model, through a comprehensive and successful strategic planning process, and following the most diverse and inclusive annual conference and bookfair in AWP’s history, I am thrilled to have been invited to transition from interim to permanent leadership,” said Dr. Chloe Schwenke. “I am eager to continue my work with the staff and board of AWP to carry our momentum forward, making AWP stronger, more sustainable, and better able to provide a wide range of valuable services for the creative writing community.”
“Congratulations to the Association of Writers & Writing Programs on selecting Dr. Chloe Schwenke as Executive Director,” said ACG Vice President Wyona Lynch-McWhite. “We are confident that her passion for the organization and her strengths as a writer and a nonprofit administrator will help further AWP’s outreach and service to its communities of writers and writing programs.”