About us

Karin Deutsch Karlekar

Director, PEN Free Expression programs

Dr. Karlekar is the director of PEN's Free Expression Programs. She is also the former project director of Freedom of the Press, an annual index that tracks trends in media freedom worldwide. She coordinates the research, ratings, and editorial processes for the index, and also writes a number of the country reports.

In addition, she led the development of the methodology for and coordinated the pilot edition of a new index of internet and digital media freedom published in April 2009. She regularly serves as a spokesperson for Freedom House on media issues, has been quoted extensively in U.S. and foreign media outlets, and has represented the organization at numerous conferences, workshops, and events on the topics of media indicators, internet and digital media freedom, and press freedom. She also represents Freedom House in the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) network, and served as Convenor, or head of IFEX’s governing council, from February 2006 to June 2009.  In addition, Dr. Karlekar is responsible for researching and writing South Asia country reports for the Freedom in the World survey and authored the reports on Afghanistan and Sri Lanka for the Countries at a Crossroads 2004 survey. She has conducted research, assessment, and advocacy missions to Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and has traveled extensively in Asia and Africa. Prior to joining Freedom House, Dr. Karlekar was an editor atthe Economist Intelligence Unit and also served as a consultant to Human Rights Watch. She holds a Ph.D. in Indian History from Cambridge University, England.