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Director of Operations (m/f)


The present organisational structure of the Operations Department is made up of a team of two Directors of Operations (DOs) responsible for the management and supervision of the operations within the Operational Centre Brussels (OCB).

They respond to a series of decisional, strategic, coaching, and representation responsibilities, both towards the operational cells and within the Operations Department, the OCB group, the MSF movement, and the external world. They report to the OCB General Director, and collaborate and ensure coherence with the directors of the other departments.

The DOs are responsible for specific teams, the overall continuity and strategic policy of operations in the OCB, and the management of the department. Dossiers related to internal OCB issues, the MSF movement and external stakeholders are divided between the two directors.


  • Ensure decision-making on the OCB operational portfolio.
  • Define, elaborate and follow up on operational strategies assisted by other departments.
  • Ensure Decision making with regard to operational strategies, project implementation, adaptation, etc.
  • Select, support, and coach the cells, the Heads of Missions (HoMs), and co-ordination teams in general.
  • Support and follow up of specific dossiers as agreed in the DO team.
  • Ensure coherence of the operational ambitions with the OCB resource policies.
  • Ensure the security management of the field operations regarding policy and implementation.
  • Represent OCB at external and internal meetings, at MSF international platforms, and towards the media.

Job Profile

  • Lead the process of the OCB multiyear operational prospects including leading workshops and working groups as well as the writing of the operational prospects.  
  • Implement the operational policy as described in the prospects.
  • Be responsible for the overall annual operational budget as approved by the Board of Directors and the follow-up of the annual budget.
  • Lead and steer the preparation of the Annual Review of Operations (ARO) for the countries and regions under direct responsibility.
  • Help design projects, prepare them, and exploit acquired experience on-site, while defining themes specific to the development of the missions concerned based on maintained understanding of field reality.
  • Decide on the allocation of funding and human resources to specific projects via the project committees, in coherence with the annual operations budget.
  • Decide on exploratory missions, on starting, reorienting, and ending projects through the decision making platforms (project committees and annual review of operations).
  • Stimulate and assume responsibility for "Speaking Out" on the regions of concern (restitution, information, evidence, and the taking of positions emanating from missions).
  • Support, coach, and manage the cell teams in their functioning and decision making process (incl. organisation, evaluation, feedback, being available for advice etc.). Ensure an inter-cellular coherence and a motivating departmental identity.
  • As final responsible for the security of the teams in the field, support and supervise the decisions to deploy teams in insecure environment and in the planning and implementation of the security management in these missions. Manage the risk management unit in the operations department. Ensure the implementation of the duty of care principles for all staff.
  • Represent OCB vis-à-vis sections in the movement, political / military stakeholders, international bodies along a strategic framework, this is in addition to initiatives in this sphere taken by HoMs and Operational Coordinators (COs).
  • Explain and defend the MSF position in the media.
  • Decide on the final selection of the short-lists for Heads of Missions (HoM) and delegate the selection and evaluations to the COs.
  • Work on certain internal dossiers to enhance the operational debate.
  • Facilitate operational modules during internal trainings.
  • Take the lead role within a Crisis Management Team in case of a severe security incident.
  • Be an active member of the OCB board of directors.
  • Participate in regular Board of Director’s meeting for OCB, MSF B and OCB partner sections.
  • Participate actively to the RIOD the platform which brings together the Operations Directors from all operational centres.

Candidate profile

  • Minimum 5 years' experience with Médecins Sans Frontières, with significant field experience as a HoM or Medical Coordinator
  • Medical or paramedical profile is an asset
  • Strategic vision
  • Ability to manage teams and processes
  • Sense of initiative and human relations
  • Ability to be an active team leader and player
  • Dynamic and proactive
  • Fluent English vital, other languages are an asset - Excellent communication skills (oral and written)
  • Willingness & availability to travel frequently, mobility between headquarters and field projects vital as well as travel to partner sections and other Operational Centres.


  • Open-ended contract, full-time, based in Brussels
  • Moral commitment of 4 years
  • Hospitalization insurance – Supplementary pension – Canteen – Reimbursement of transport costs (100% public transport)
  • Available to start by Oct 2017

Deadline for applications is 08/09/2017

Interested candidates should send a letter of motivation and curriculum vitae by e-mail to Sarah Laevens,, with the following reference: “DIR OPS”