Deputy Director - MSF Access Campaign

Location: Preferably Geneva, but open to other MSF offices

Contract: Long Term contract - Full time position

Reporting to: Executive Director - MSF Access Campaign

Starting date: May 2018

Deadline for application: 18th April 2018


I- MSF Access Campaign

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural disasters. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.

Created in 1999, the Access Campaign (AC) is an MSF advocacy entity guided by MSF’s charter, and dedicated to serve MSF’s social mission. Deeply rooted in MSF’s medical operations, the AC works to tackle barriers to people’s access to medical care, ensuring that quality products such as medicines, vaccines and diagnostics are available, affordable and adapted to people in MSF projects and beyond, now and for the future. The AC is hosted by MSF International, the legal entity that binds MSF’s 21 sections, 24 associations and other offices together. Based in Geneva, MSF International provides coordination, information and support to the MSF movement, and implements international projects and initiatives as requested.


The Access Campaign’s multidisciplinary team addresses the underlying technical, legal and political barriers to developing the needed biomedical innovation and accessing existing products. While engaging in upstream systemic obstacles to access, the AC remains driven by MSF’s operational and medical priorities, balancing disease/product work and global international health policy work to ensure achievements of the AC translate into tangible benefits to MSF field interventions and beyond.

Research and policy analysis, and strategic advocacy (including lobbying, communications and creative campaigning) are the various means by which the AC intends to challenge (or preserve) the status quo or to create an enabling environment for change. The expertise garnered by the AC serves to influence external policy making and to guide MSF’s internal thinking.


The Access Campaign is an MSF transversal advocacy entity accountable to the ExCom platform of the Executive directors of all MSF sections, administratively housed by MSF International. While a significant part of the team is currently based in Geneva, others members are spread over a number of different MSF offices globally. The AC team consists currently of some 45 people including medical doctors, pharmacists, lab technicians, lawyers, campaigners, communication experts and support staff.

The Deputy Director directly supports the AC Executive Director in the overall management of the AC, while specifically overseeing the AC’s strategic advocacy activities. The Deputy Director line manages the head of regional advocacy, the head of communications, and as needed other positions. She/he is a member of the Management Team, which is led by the Executive Director and currently consists of 8 persons.


The Deputy Director supports the AC Executive Director in the overall management and leads the Advocacy and Communications activities of the Access Campaign, in particular developing and implementing strategic advocacy towards achieving the AC’s overall objectives based on its analysis of the medical needs and policy and political opportunities. The current medical priorities of the AC are tuberculosis and antibiotic resistance (including diagnostics), and vaccines, with continued attention for a range of medical and policy topics including neglected tropical diseases, emerging infectious diseases, viral hepatitis, medical innovation and intellectual property.

As a member of the Management Team of the AC, the Deputy Director contributes to the strategic management and orientation of the Access Campaign and builds support for the Access Campaign’s objectives and activities in the wider MSF movement.

The Deputy Director as required represents MSF and the Access Campaign externally at high-level meetings with government, other political or medical actors, and in the media.


Direct Support to ED:

  • As the right hand and thought partner of the ED, play a key role in developing and rolling out the strategic direction of the AC in particular its strategic advocacy, and supporting the management of the AC’s activities, including the implementation of a nascent reorganization of the AC team and building an effective leadership team.
  • Provides analysis to and builds support for priority areas of AC work in key MSF platforms, and help to progress and facilitate existing and emerging AC priorities internally within the MSF movement through internal liaising and networking with operational centres and MSF sections and, the associations, technical working groups, research and analysis units, etc.
  • Support the ED around general administrative and HR management of the AC, including mentoring and management of senior AC staff; team building, coordination and planning processes including the annual meeting; and reporting and accountability towards MSF leadership (Steering Committee, Excom).
  • As the budget focal point within the AC Management Team, support the ED in the development and overseeing of the AC budget, and ensure the annual activity and budget planning and accountability cycle of the AC is maintained.
  • As requested by the ED, take the lead on specific projects in response to MSF ad-hoc needs or requests 

Strategic Advocacy:

  • Mobilise the AC’s advocacy, communications and creative campaigning capabilities to build an influential MSF AC voice and conduct strategic advocacy within the designated medical priority areas of the AC to increase access to treatment and nurture an enabling environment for access
  • With the support of the advocacy and communications teams, and in collaboration with other colleagues in the AC, develop policy and advocacy strategies on key actors or key policies towards achieving specific changes that will affect MSF activities related to the mandate of the AC
  • Support and oversee the implementation of such advocacy strategies, including their design and customization of specific advocacy activities at local, regional and global level as appropriate, including creative  campaigning as relevant
  • Ensure that other members of the management team (and others as needed) are informed of important developments in the global access to medicines movement, in particular specific opportunities for advocacy interventions by the AC.
  • Cultivate a network (think tanks, thought leaders, academia etc.) that enhances the delivery and understanding of advocacy both within the AC but also the wider access movement.
  • Management of a decentralised multicultural and multidisciplinary team focused on advocacy, including communications

External Representation:

  • Maintains networks with relevant individuals and institutions in the access the medicines and medical innovation context, and make connections with other colleagues of the AC
  • Builds alliances with other civil society organisations and other allies globally, including the medical and research communities.
  • Represents MSF at high-level international meetings and towards governments, international organisations, foundations, and other relevant actors
  • Acts as one of the media spokespersons for the AC


  • Solid knowledge of MSF and commitment to the humanitarian action and principles of MSF;
  • Masters level university degree in a relevant field (health, law, economics, international relations, politics, or other), and 10 years of experience in policy and advocacy related work;
  • In-depth knowledge of international health policy in the area of access to medicines and medical innovation, and extended network to build upon for this position;
  • Strong political analysis of the global health and access environment, with ability to identify strategic opportunities for impactful advocacy;
  • Demonstrated experience in leading high-level international global health policy advocacy and campaigning towards policy makers or other stakeholders with proven record of achieving change;
  • Experience in effective coalition building to effect policy change;
  • Excellent representation skills and experience in high level public speaking and in working with the media as a spokesperson;
  • Excellent writing skills, in particular honed for the production of compelling advocacy documents;
  • Creative and out-of-the box thinker, with experience in the use of social media and creative campaigning strategies for advocacy;
  • Significant management experience, including at a senior level; experience of leading a decentralised multicultural and multidisciplinary team.;
  • Capacity to enhance a positive team dynamic and foster collaboration internally and with other MSF actors
  • Ability to work in a high paced environment within deadlines while maintaining flexibility, tact and perseverance;
  • Strong communication and inter-personal skills coupled with a well-developed sense of tact and diplomacy
  • Excellent speaking and writing abilities in English; additional languages an advantage
  • Availability for frequent travel approximately 30-50%