Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Ocb General Director

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Job Description


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides assistance in more than 60 countries to populations in distress, to victims of natural or manmade disasters and to victims of armed conflicts, without discrimination and irrespective of origin, religion, creed or political affiliation.

The MSF Operational Centre Brussels is seeking a

OCB General Director (m/f/x) – MSF Belgium – Brussels


MSF’s raison d’être and core activity consist of humanitarian and medical work, particularly in conflict and crisis situations. As described in the MSF Charter, the association offers assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict - without discrimination and irrespective of ethnicity, religion, creed or political affiliation. The OCB (Operational Center of Brussels) develops and implements medical humanitarian Field Operations and witnessing, whilst organizing and deploying the necessary resources: medical, human, communications, Analysis, advocacy, logistical, supply and funds.

The OCB is the operational project of nine MSF sections (Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Hong-Kong, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, South Africa, and Sweden) and 4 branch offices (Lebanon, Finland, Taiwan and Singapore) that make up the OCB group. The OCB Board is responsible for the oversight of the social mission and especially for all matters linked to operations and their related operational support. It delegates their management to the executive and primarily to its General Director.

In 2023 the OCB manages projects in over 36 countries and its yearly expenses are around 500 million Euros. The headquarters of the OCB are based in Brussels and several other units are based in other parts of the world such as Beirut, Rio, Cape Town, Abidjan, Kinshasa and other locations.

The OCB group encourages diversity and gender balance in terms of recruitment as core values of the Organization, and pro-actively encourages applications from candidates throughout the MSF movement and association who are motivated and interested in taking on this challenging role.


The General Director (GD) reports to the OCB Board of Directors. The OCB and MSF-Belgium’s General Director’s functions is combined, the OCB GD is accountable to the MSF-Belgium Board.

Strategic direction

  • Provide an important contribution to the definition of the broader Movement’s orientations and to the debates related to our mandate, its application and the dilemmas facing MSF’s humanitarian work
  • In close relationship with the OCB Board of Directors, the Director’s Committee and the OCB section Directors, define the strategies and directions for the development of the OCB, taking into consideration both internal and external challenges and opportunities. The strategy is defined in a multiyear document
  • Organize, manage, and monitor the translation of these strategies into concrete action plans and ultimately into operations and humanitarian impact
  • Play a key role in preparing for future humanitarian crises in times when humanitarianism is under pressure, in guiding the OC through the current transformation agenda in becoming a more inclusive, diverse, and safe organization and becoming climate smart

Group Dynamic

  • Together with one of the Deputy GDs, make sure that there is a constructive dynamic in the group. Make sure that the independence of the sections will be respected while the common ownership of the project is promoted
  • Guarantees that policies affecting the group are discussed amongst the concerned persons in every section


  • Manage the defined OCB social mission and oversees the implementation of the different policies and activities needed to reach the strategic objectives (operational, medical, financial, human resources, communication, analysis, advocacy, supply, logistics, etc..). Work in close collaboration with two Deputy GDs & function as a team managing the above specified GD’s overall responsibilities
  • Build the OCB executive teams, play a key role in managing and coaching the team of directors, in the preparation, participation and follow-up of strategic meetings, drawing up of respective action plans and ensuring they work to a common purpose.
  • Ensure directly or indirectly that the working conditions of employees on the field and in the HQ are adapted to the completion of the expected objectives.
  • Uphold the management values based on respect, debate and a culture of learning that are promoted within MSF-OCB.



  • Represent MSF-OCB at the highest level towards the public, authorities, partners, and media


  • Represent the OCB in the EXCOM. The GD represents the directions promoted by the group in the international platforms and in bilateral contacts with MSF stakeholders
  • Responsible to interact with the OCB Board of Directors, with whom the GD shares the common interest of the associative dimension of MSF

Financial planning

  • Recommend a yearly budget for Board of Directors’ approval and manage the organization’s resources in accordance with MSF social mission priorities and accountability criteria
  • Promote strategic thinking and decision making at group level in terms of growth and need for future investments in relation to operational needs and ambitions

Crisis Management

  • Oversee the management of severe crisis situations and is responsible to the Board for the strategies implemented and the means mobilized to solve crises


Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree in political sciences, humanitarian affairs or similar domain, or any medical / paramedical degree, or any management degree or equivalent by experience is an asset
  • A medical background and profile and/or significant experience in an international health policy environment and/or a demonstrable interest in medical/public health issues, with a commitment to a patient-centred approach is an asset
  • Extensive MSF experience in the field/or at a section’s HQ is required (preferable in a high management position). The field experience should include significant experience in a Coordination position (Head of Mission and/or Coordinator" id="link" class="link">Medical Coordinator)
  • Recent field or operational support experience is an asset
  • Experience in high insecurity environments is an asset
  • A demonstrated record of achievement in coaching and management of a large number of staff and budget
  • Extensive knowledge of medical-humanitarian work and of international humanitarian issues and challenges (public health, International Humanitarian Law, political, humanitarian, medical-scientific aspects of Humanitarian Action)
  • A proven professional and personal commitment to humanitarian work and to humanitarian impact
  • Proven track record of defining public positions and carrying MSF’s messages in the public sphere is an asset
  • Experience in management at HQ and exposure to inter OC and intersectional dynamics is an asset


  • Sincere concern for the associative nature of the organisation, ideally expressed through an active membership in the association
  • Ability to develop a strategic vision with regards to medical-humanitarian work, dilemmas, and challenges, and to lead and motivate teams to translate these into pragmatic steps
  • Understanding of the development of MSF and the OCB, as organisations and associations is an asset
  • Understanding and experience of human resources management and finance is an asset
  • A demonstrable understanding and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is an asset
  • Ability to work on a great number of specific and very diverse dossiers at the same time
  • Ability to take decisions and be firm when required
  • Ability to inspire, lead and manage a team with passion and emotion along with good listening, team building and delegation skills
  • Ability to identify, nurture and retain high-potential individuals
  • Very good negotiation, networking and influencing skills
  • Very good communication skills (oral and written) including in front of large and challenging audiences
  • Resistance to stress
  • Passionate and energetic
  • Warm and human
  • Humble and approachable
  • Open and honest


  • Excellent oral and written communication in English required
  • French and/or other MSF language (Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese) is an asset


  • Great flexibility in working hours
  • Availability for regular travel and field visits


  • Expected starting date: Mid-September 2023
  • Location: Brussels (Belgium)
  • Mobility: regular travels to the field and in Europe
  • Contract type: mandate of 4 years (extendable for max. 2 more years) – Full time
  • Salary according to MSF-OCB HQ grid
  • Meal Vouchers - Hospital Insurance (DKV) – Pension Plan – 100% reimbursement for public transportation costs
  • Adhere to the MSF principles and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust and Empowerment

  • Adhere to the MSF Behavioral Commitments

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