Humanitarian Representative

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
March 6, 2019
New York, New York
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
5-10 Years
Education (minimum)
Not specified
Travel Required?
Base Salary
$100,000 - 110,000




Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent international medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid in more than 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters.

We welcome candidates who bring a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences to join us in working toward MSF’s common mission.




The Programs Department at MSF-USA consists of several units including advocacy, diplomacy, and research arms of both MSF-USA and the international offices of MSF. Units served by the Program Department include the Humanitarian Representation Team (HRT), Access Campaign, Epicentre and special projects.


The Humanitarian Representative is part of the Humanitarian Representation Team (HRT) Secretariat which supports the Directors of Operations Platform (RIOD) and as such, s/he works under the functional direction of the International Operations and Humanitarian Representation Coordinator at the International Office and the Director of Programs at MSF-USA. S/he also works in close collaboration with the MSF Representative to the UN, based in NYC.





The New York office of MSF is seeking a fulltime Humanitarian Representative to carry out humanitarian diplomacy in support of MSF’s social mission. The Representative will develop and implement strategies for engaging policy makers which bear witness to MSF field activities, raise awareness of the obstacles preventing adequate care of specific populations in need, and encourage other actors to assume their responsibilities towards those populations. S/he nurtures a network of influential contacts who can provide valuable insight into contexts and themes relevant to our medical humanitarian programs. Further, the Representative safeguards the unique nature of MSF’s institutional reputation and ensures external engagements are a value to MSF, participating in policy engagement that is of value to MSF’s social mission and avoiding instances of instrumentalization.







This is an externally focused role that represents MSF Operations in dialogue with the diplomatic community, U.S. Government officials (White House National Security Council; Defense Department; State Department; USAID; Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration among others), U.S. Congress (Senate and House of Representatives), international organizations (such as the World Bank, PAHO, ICRC, OEA, etc.), U.S. based NGOs, and U.S. based Think Tanks. The Humanitarian Representative works in close collaboration with the Director of Programs to ensure coordination and appropriate support in representation.

Some of the essential functions and responsibilities are:

  • Nurtures a network of value to MSF Operations & MSF-USA leadership in Washington and among U.S. based INGOs, multilateral organizations, embassies and the U.S. Government.
  • Advises Operational Managers on how best to capitalize on field developed advocacy objectives in Washington.
  • Accompanies MSF Operational Managers and Country Representatives for advocacy rounds in Washington DC and carries out direct representation to interlocutors on their behalf when requested.
  • In coordination with the Program Director and Representative to the UN, supervises the Humanitarian Affairs Advisor according to MSF-USA procedures.
  • Provides strategic analysis on the current domestic political environment’s opportunities and risks.
  • The Humanitarian Representative is also the focal point for MSF’s engagement with the World Bank, including developing analysis on and monitoring World Bank policies. Links the MSF-IO Humanitarian Representation Team, MSF Operations, and the MSF Global Health Actors Network (GHAN) on Bank issues.
  • Support MSF Operations by providing analysis that is relevant to Operational Managers and Head of Missions.
  • Ensure the coherence and strategic character of MSF humanitarian diplomacy in coordination with MSF Operations. The Humanitarian Representative supports MSF Operational Centers (OCs) to develop coherent messages that don’t overstep the legitimacy of MSF’s voice as a medical humanitarian organization.
  • Coordinate with the MSF-USA Access Campaign Adviser to enhance reflection of operational priorities and field experience in Access Campaign advocacy initiatives, and to ensure a relevant balance of CAME messaging and MSF operational experience is presented to interlocutors.
  • Chair Inter-desk meetings as assigned by the HRT.
  • Supervise Humanitarian Affairs Advisor’s in-depth analysis of assigned contexts/themes and maintain an overview of MSF’s involvement. Stay abreast of the medical and humanitarian challenges faced by the populations in assigned contexts. Write or supervise the development of regular briefs on U.S. issues of interest to Operations.
  • Document external engagements and share as appropriate within MSF. Contribute knowledge to the GHAN and HRT SharePoint collectives.
  • Keep MSF-USA office colleagues and MSF-USA board members informed of field concerns and bilateral advocacy work.
  • Supports MSF-USA Development Department in high profile donor engagement and briefings as requested and time allowing (<5% of time maximum).
  • Able to support Critical Incident Management Team for MSF-USA as requested.
  • Is responsible for ensuring MSF’s to engage with the US military.










  • 7+ years professional experience
  • Field experience:
  • Minimum of 24 months in a country coordination team position (HoM or Medco profile), preferably with MSF.
  • In-depth understanding of the global humanitarian system and substantial experience in highly political operating environments. Experience in humanitarian crises essential, with strong security related experience.
  • Hands-on experience with MSF principles and “speaking out” efforts.
  • Experience in emergency contexts strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated analytical skills. Ability to research, analyze, and synthesize complex topics to write reports and high-level business correspondence, and effectively present information to internal and external audiences including senior government and diplomatic officials.
  • Highly developed political networking and communication skills with proven experience in external representation on complex and sensitive issues. Excellent judgment and diplomacy. Comfort with high level interlocutors, must be professional and persuasive.
  • Understanding of the major functions of the U.S. government relating to foreign policy, humanitarian assistance, national security, and military operations.
  • Knowledge of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) an asset.
  • Excellent oral and written English; French or Spanish an asset.
  • Residence in or willingness to relocate to the NYC metro area with frequent travel to Washington.






Pay Class


Full Time Exempt


Contract Type


Open ended Contract


Additional Information


Starting salary low 100s (commensurate with experience).


Desired Hiring Date


Mid-April 2019


Working Time %




How to Apply


To apply, send cover letter and resume to:, ATTN: Humanitarian Representative before March 12, 2019. Targeted start date is mid-April 2019.

For more information please visit our website:

Any applications submitted without cover letter will not be considered.  No calls please.

 Please note that relocation assistance and visa sponsorship will be offered for this position.

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