Position Description

Medical Director
Location Office in Amsterdam
Department Public Health
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MSF is an international, independent medical humanitarian organisation. We provide medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare. We are a non-profit, self-governed, member-based organisation. MSF was founded in 1971 in Paris by a group of journalists and doctors. Today, we are a worldwide movement of more than 67,000 people.

MSF coordinates operations through collaborations between global offices. The ‘MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam’ (OCA) is a partnership that is composed of the partners MSF-Canada, MSF-Germany, MSF-SARA, MSF-Sweden, MSF-Holland and MSF-United Kingdom. MSF-OCA operates medical humanitarian interventions in about 25 countries with more than 11,000 staff.

The office of MSF-Holland located in Amsterdam hosts more than 400 employees, offering direct support to MSF-OCA operations. Around 50 staff focus on recruitment, communication and fundraising in The Netherlands (MSF-Holland) and 350 staff are focused on supporting MSF-OCA operations.

At Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Artsen zonder Grenzen, we are committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our employees. Our diversity fuels our innovation and connects us closer to our beneficiaries and the communities in which we work. We welcome applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, races, religions, beliefs, ability status, and all other diversity characteristics.


Public Health Department
The OCA Public Health Department (PHD) is a diverse multi-disciplinary team of specialists and health advisors working across the OCA partnership. Health advisors are currently located in Amsterdam and Berlin and are integrated into the operational desks. Specialists, providing direct support through Mission Medical Support Teams (MSTs), research and innovation management, and within project teams, are currently dispersed across Amsterdam, Berlin and the Manson Unit in London. The purpose of the department is to provide medical leadership and direction for MSF-OCA, in order to contribute to the MSF social mission. This is achieved through:

  • Ensuring organisational medical priorities for MSF-OCA are translated into multi-year medical operational strategies   
  • Providing direct field support (strategic, implementation and quality assurance) to ensure all missions deliver safe, effective and responsive medical programming  
  • Setting norms and standards through our evidence-based policies and monitoring their implementation  
  • Shaping operational research agendas and stimulating the development, translation, and dissemination of knowledge  
  • Using our experience, data, and research to be a catalyst for change   
  • Equipping the organisation to meet the needs of future patients and the medical challenges of tomorrow 


As of 1 February 2021, the Public Health Department of MSF-OCA has a vacancy for the position of  

Medical Director (100%) 

Located in Amsterdam


Position within the organisation
As Medical Director, you will lead the senior leadership team of managers in the OCA PHD and report to the Chair of the OCA Management Team (MT). You are a member of the OCA MT and the MSF Holland MT (legal entity of OCA).


Objectives of the position
The main objectives of the position of Medical Director are:

Strategy & Leadership

  • OCA organisational medical vision and leadership:
    • You are responsible for ensuring that MSF-OCA has an organisational medical vision and priorities that allow the organisation to remain relevant and responsive to the health needs of current and future patients and communities where MSF chooses to work.  
    • Together with the Deputy Medical Directors, ensure the organisational medical vision and ambitions are embedded into each new OCA Strategic Plan.  
    • Provide OCA medical leadership for specific inter-sectional dossiers of work.  
    • You provide senior medical representation for external strategic engagements with other global health institutions and networks.  
  • Leadership of the OCA Public health Department:   
    Together with the Deputy Medical Directors (Amsterdam and London), provide overall leadership and oversight for the functioning and well-being of the OCA PHD:   
    • Embed best practice of geographical dispersed team working.   
    • Ensure an inspiring, vibrant, supportive, and professional work environment to lead OCA PHD teams through transformation and change. 
    • You will set the example and reinforce the OCA leadership and management framework and values.  
    • You will work in close tandem with the Operational Director and Advocacy Teams and set the example of a collaborative and integrated engagement between the operational and medical lines.

Quality assurance health

  • OCA medical operational portfolio composition:
    As Medical Director you are, in conjunction with the Director of Operations, responsible for the overall composition of the OCA medical operational portfolio. You will ensure:  
    • Alignment with the direction and intervention logic as per the OCA Strategic Plan.  
    • Balance between competing organisational priorities.  
    • Alignment with the OCA resources framework.  
    • Consistency with organisational and operational policies. 
  • Quality assurance and improvement of OCA health programming: 
    • You will, in conjunction with the Director of Operations, reinforce a culture of quality improvement to assure the health interventions delivered are as safe, effective and have the most optimal positive impact as possible.  
    • You will ensure the implementation of a clinical governance framework for OCA, which focuses on patient safety and clinical risk management, clinical effectiveness, patient and community participation, and having an effective medical workforce.  
    • You will, in close collaboration with the Staff Director, ensure quality assurance systems at all levels in the organisation, which ultimately provides a learning environment, to ensure a medical workforce that is motivated and skilled to deliver on the social mission.   

Cooperation and networking

  • You will ensure we continue to foster a collaborative approach that optimises decision-making on the choice, design, and implementation of all programs. 
  • You work in close cooperation with the other MSF Medical Directors as well as the other Directors of Operations to improve intersectional coherence and coordination, to increase collaboration, and to optimise resources and functions between the different sections.  
  • You ensure links with the external world through collaborations, allowing the chance to learn from each other, and to fill gaps in expertise and know-how.   

Management Team

  • You are member of the OCA MT:  
    • You are part of the OCA Management Team. You work with your fellow OCA Directors as a real, inclusive and mutually responsible team, taking ownership for the vision and strategy of the entire organisation and its operations, staff, and resources as a whole.  
    • Collectively, as part of the OCA MT, you are responsible for fostering an inspiring, vibrant, supportive and professional work environment to enable all staff to thrive and contribute in the delivery of the MSF social mission.
    • You report hierarchically to the Chair of the OCA Management Team (MT).  
    • You will report to and held accountable for by the oversight body from our association, the OCA Council.   
  • You are a member of the MSFH-MT:
    You are part of the MSF-Holland Management Team (the legal entity of OCA) and work closely with fellow Directors to take ownership of the vision and strategies for MSF Holland.  

MSF and MSF-OCA in transformation 
Our strengths continue to be our determined humanitarian spirit, our sense of common purpose, our capacity to scale up our responses and our adaptability.  

We fully realise that the coming years we need to transform our organisation. The direction is set in our Strategic Plan 2020-2023: from a European rooted organisation to a global organisation, within which all staff are valued and respected, and do not face structural barriers to communication, mobility and professional development. Our leadership will be representative of our global workforce, bringing with it diversity of thought and perspective. We will ensure that our organisation develops in ways that empower all of our staff, bringing support and learning closer to where they live and work. We will develop and expand our MSF OCA partnership into a global network. Senior leadership in regional hubs will connect with local networks to deepen our engagement, knowledge and ability to influence. We will embrace our global capacity in support of our social mission. 


We are looking for 
An inspirational medical leader, with the compassion, motivation, technical competence and medical vision, to lead a complex, diverse and networked medical department, across multiple locations, to deliver high quality medical support to meet the evolving healthcare needs in humanitarian settings. Being at a crossroad in our organisation of almost 50 years of age, we are looking for a leader who will guide the transformative organisational development together with the OCA MT.  

A medical doctor with a proven track record of leading significant organisational change.  With a Master of Public Health, international public health specialisation, or similar post-graduate qualification, and at least 4 years humanitarian-medical field experience with MSF or a comparable organisation. You are be able to demonstrate strong, proven skills in management, leadership qualities, and have at least 4 years senior medical/health management experience. You have proven expertise in strategic and conceptual thinking, policy development, financial and human resource management, planning and monitoring of results. You will lead change through people i.e. have the ability to communicate the vision and rationale for change, and engage others, facilitating collaborative working.  

Furthermore, you have an up to date knowledge of recent developments in the field of humanitarian relief and international public health and tropical medicine. In addition, you have proven affinity with advocacy, and experience with field research in resource poor settings. Good analytical and communication skills are essential as well as an excellent command of the English language (oral and written communication). It would be highly appreciated if you are able to speak French.

You must be willing to live and work in Amsterdam and be prepared to spend approximately 20% of your time on work-related travel.   

We offer 
A challenging position within a stimulating, professional working environment in a major international organisation.

A Dutch employment contract from 1 February 2021, based on 40 hours per week. The contract is for three years with renewal option. 

A gross monthly salary of a minimum of € 6,487 and a maximum of € 9,264 for a full-time appointment based on relevant work experience.

Attractive secondary benefits (premium free pension, 30 holidays).

Information & application 
If you are interested in this post and would like additional information about the recruitment procedure, please contact:
Marleen Boers (Coordinator Recruitment) at Marleen.Boers@amsterdam.msf.org.  

For more information about the position, please contact: 
Melissa McRae: Melissa.McRae@amsterdam.msf.org (current Medical Director) 
Nelke Manders: Nelke.Manders@amsterdam.msf.org (Chair of the OCA MT)

The closing date for applications is 31 October 2020.  

Selection will be by means of two interviewing rounds. The first interview round takes place in the week of 23 November 2020, the second and final interview round in the week of 7 December 2020. A test/case may be part of the process. 

If you believe that you fit the profile, you can react directly via the 'Apply' button. Please upload a letter of motivation and Curriculum Vitae in English as one combined document. 



***Acquisition is not appreciated***  



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