Director of Operations

Médecins Sans Frontières Operational Centre Amsterdam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Full time Staff


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent, medical humanitarian, emergency relief organisation that provides assistance to people worldwide, regardless of their background, religion or political convictions. Above all, we aim to save lives and to offer medical humanitarian care to victims of conflict and epidemics. Our staff in the field projects consists mainly of locally recruited staff, but we express international humanitarian solidarity working side by side as national and internationally recruited staff, giving direct medical humanitarian support to people in need.

In the past 40 years, MSF has gained a strong position as an independent, medical humanitarian organisation working worldwide.

MSF coordinates operations through collaborations between global MSF offices. ‘MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam’ (MSF-OCA) is a partnership between ‘Artsen zonder Grenzen Nederland’ (MSF-Holland), MSF-UK and MSF-Germany. MSF-OCA operates medical humanitarian interventions in about 25 countries with about 80 projects. Annually, MSF-OCA deploys approximately 800 international staff and employs 10,000 national staff.

The Role

The Director of Operations, in conjunction with the Medical Director, is responsible for the overall composition of the OCA medical operational portfolio. He/she will ensure alignment with the overall direction and intervention logic as set out in the OCA Strategic Plan and Resources Framework, and balance between competing organisational priorities.

The Director of Operations is instrumental in making sure that MSF-OCA field projects attain the highest possible standards, unlocking their capacity to have the greatest impact on people in need. She/he is truly a role model of MSF’s values and behaviours and has a powerful impact in terms of building organisational capability.

Person Specification

  • The ability to work within a highly complex international environment and the ability to drive change
  • Senior leader with experience in senior management/leadership position(s) with comparable responsibilities
  • Strong drive and capacity to lead a large, well-respected medical humanitarian, emergency relief organisation
  • Solid experience in leading change processes in complex and globally operating  organisations
  • Experience with high level security-management for operations in insecure and politically sensitive environments
  • Understanding of medical humanitarian needs in various parts of the world, especially where there is lack of adequate health facilities that put people at risk of death and serious diseases
  • A broad understanding of the global medical humanitarian needs with a specific acknowledgement of situations where people’s dignity is deliberately denied, rooted in sound experience with medical humanitarian action and analytical capacity
  • The ability to take decisions when required, whether on security, staff, programme or budget issues
  • Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English, and preferably some language skills in French and Dutch


A relevant masters degree or equivalent professional qualification.

Closing date: 
30th November 2018