Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) – Secretary to the International Board.

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Secretary to the International Board

Location: Any MSF office

Contract: Permanent Contract – Full-Time 100%

Starting date: August/September 2022

Deadline to apply: 15 June 2022


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international independent medical humanitarian action-driven organization, which 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 race, religion, creed or political affiliation. 26 associations, 23 sections, and 16 branch offices make-up the international movement and work in partnership around 6 operational entities.


The International Board (IB) and International General Assembly (IGA) are the highest governing bodies of MSF and are responsible for holding executive action to account, developing a vision for the movement, and influencing the shape of the associative elements within MSF.

The Secretariat to the IB Team is the core executive group responsible for ensuring the IB’s enactment of its roles and responsibilities. This small dynamic team within the International Office has a broad international scope and responsibility for carrying out the work delegated by the highest governance bodies of the movement.


The Secretary to the IB will be the primary executive interlocutor responsible for managing the implementation of the IB’s workplan and facilitating the IB’s enactment of its roles and responsibilities. Further it will be a central reference point regarding MSF International’s governance, and will, proactively take positions to ensure that MSF International’s governance is adhered to in all cases. In doing so, the position will provide recommendations and strategic guidance to the IB, IP and IGA on statutory or legal issues in collaboration with the, the Governance Working Group (GWG), the Intersectional Legal Department (ILD) and others.

The Secretary to the IB autonomously manages relevant projects as well as coordinates the development of the IGA Agenda as delegated by the International President. Within these tasks the position will work to ensure synergy and a clear delineation of tasks between the IB, IB Committees and IGA Committees as well as the IAT and Secretariat to the IB Team.


The Secretary to the IB reports to the International Vice President.

The Secretary to the IB leads the Secretariat to the IB Team.

This position collaborates with the IB, most notably the Officers of the IB and IB Standing Committees and with the IGA (notably the GWG), International Association Team, the wider associative network, the ILD, and other members of the International Office.


The Secretary to the IB will hold seven main responsibilities:

1. Coordination and management to ensure the IB’s enactment its roles and responsibilities

  • Ex-Officio Member of the Officers of the IB
  • Coordinate and process manage the development of the annual IB Workplan.
  • Be the primary executive interlocutor responsible for manging the implementation of the annual IB Workplan on behalf of the International President and other Officers of the IB.
  • Coordinate and process manage the development of the IB meeting agendas in cooperation with theOfficers of the IB.
  •  Ex-officio member to IB and IGA committees and working groups as delegated by the Officers of the IB.
  • Draft political communications to the MSF movement regarding key IB decisions and discussions.
  • Consistently identify and implement iterative improvements to IB functioning and ability to fulfil its role.
  • Ensure that IB receives relevant information, in a relevant format, and in timely fashion to facilitate IB decision-making.
  • Ensure or oversee the maintenance of institutional memory via the drafting of IB Minutes and the archiving of a repository of records.

2. Provision of recommendations and strategic guidance regarding MSF International’s governance and its application

  • Ensure that MSF International’s governance is adhered to.
  • Be the autonomous central reference point and a custodian of knowledge regarding the organisation’s governance including statutes, records and other related material.
  • Advise and provide articulation and recommendations to the IB on politically sensitive issues.
  • Provide ongoing critical analysis of the practical application of MSF’s governance structures and raiseitems to the IB regarding identification and mitigation o f potential issues.
  • Provide strategic support to Institutional Members, the IB, and others in respecting the International Statues, mandatory legal frameworks (e.g. trademark agreements), and any other applicable regulations (e.g. voting requirements), as well as requests for exemptions or amendments.
  • Work with the ILD on the interpretation and application of MSF governance on behalf of all associative platforms.
  • Be the ex-officio member to the GWG.
  • In coordination with the GWG and International Vice President manage the IGA Representative and IB Member Conflict of Interest declaration process.

3. Co-ordination, management or support of IB projects

  • Propose, identify required resources, and autonomously lead projects and initiatives to promote good governance in MSF.
  • Cooperate in the necessary manner regarding projects delegated by the IB via the International Vice President.

4. Risk Management

  • Work to mitigate IB’s governance and institutional risk.
  • Collaborate with the relevant IB Standing Committee to support the IB’s risk management responsibilities.
  • Iteratively develop the IB’s risk management tools.
  • Provide guidance, advice and information on governance risk management.

5. Co-ordination of the IGA Agenda and Sessions (in collaboration with the IAC)

  • Responsibility for coordinating the development of the IGA Agenda, in co-ordination with the International Association Coordinator and as delegated by the International President.
  • Direct responsibility for coordinating the development of IGA sessions as delegated by the IB via the International Vice President.
  • Ensure synergy and a clear delineation of tasks between the IAC and Secretary to the IB

6. Management of the Secretariat to the IB Team and other Temporary Positions

  • Perform annual planning in line with the IB Workplan and IB priorities.
  • Make proposals regarding the formulation of the annual IB Budget.
  • Coordination, management and evaluation of the positions within the Secretariat to the IB Team.
  • Coordination and management of any project based or other temporary positions.
  • Supervise and ensure the good function of the IB Standing Committees.
  • Supervise the administrative and logistic support to the IB’s Stranding Committees and/or working groups including: The production of accurate and timely IB and Standing Committee minutes; transparent communication between platforms; follow up and implementation of outcomes.

7. Co-ordination and Collaboration with the International Association Coordinator

  • Ensure holistic and comprehensive coordination on crosscutting topics with the International Associative Coordinator (and International Associative Team).
  • In collaboration with the International Association Coordinator, foster strong working links and communication between the Secretariat to the IB Team and International Associative Team.

Job requirements


  • Experience working in humanitarian sector and NGO governance.
  • Experience working at board level.
  • Experience in project management involving multiple stakeholders and cross-cutting issues.
  • Demonstratable experience in developing workshops, meeting sessions, etc for high level meetings.
  • Experience in high-level political communication.
  • Experience in managing teams.
  • Experience in developing, transforming or optimising internal processes.
  • Demonstratable experience working on confidential/sensitive matters appropriately and with integrity.
  • Field experience with MSF or another NGO an asset.

Advantageous Skills and Specific Requirements

  • Genuine interest in, understanding of, and commitment to; the humanitarian principles, associative structure, social mission, operations, and challenges of MSF.
  • Understanding of MSF’s organisational culture and internal dynamics.
  • Understanding of MSF’s governance model.
  • Understanding of when the legal interpretation of governance is required.
  • Strong writing skills.
  • Self-driven, enthusiastic, dedicated, and autonomous.
  • Excellent diplomatic ability and judgement regarding networking, information gathering, and sharing.
  • Strong technical skills in the Office 365 package and the ability to utilise technology to improve the functioning and communication of the IB.
  • Able to work in a multi-cultural environment; ability to recognize, respect, learn from and integrate cultural differences.
  • Strong team player with the ability and interpersonal skills to interact and communicate at all levels of MSF.
  • Able to work successfully under pressure within short deadlines, maintaining appropriate priorities, adequate detail, flexibility, and positivity.
  • Convincing personality, capable of earning trust from stakeholders.
  • As the Secretary to the International Board of an association registered in Switzerland it is expected that the Secretary will develop a good understanding of the regulations of a Swiss association and will be comfortable and available to liaise with Swiss authorities whenever required
  • Fluent in English (written and spoken) with other languages an asset.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


At MSF, we are committed to an equitable and inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our employees. We welcome applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, races, ethnicities, religions, beliefs, ability status, and all other diversity characteristics.




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