Executive Assistant to the Secretary General and the ExCom

Title: Executive Assistant to the Secretary General and the Excom

Location: Geneva

Contract: Fixed-term (interim position), 100%

Duration: 6 months

Start: Mid-February 2018


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization 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.

MSF International is 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, as well as implements international projects and initiatives as requested. MSF International also provides administrative support to the MSF Access Campaign.


The position of Executive Assistant has been created to support the Secretary General and the ExCom platform in the full accomplishment of the mandate entrusted by the MSF Movement.



The Executive Assistant:

  • Reports hierarchically and functionally to the Secretary General;
  • Works closely with the other assistants of MSF International based in Geneva as well as in the other MSF location;
  • Works closely with executive assistants to members of the ExCom and other international platforms;
  • Interacts with the International Office team, the MSF Movement, interlocutors outside MSF and any other contacts considered necessary by the Secretary General.



The Executive Assistant is responsible to provide comprehensive support to the Secretary General in accomplishing his mandate as entrusted by the MSF Movement.

The position is key in ensuring proactive organization and management of information, fluid communication with MSF platforms and entities, with a particular focus on the ExCom platform; consistent preparation of meetings and events, high quality and fidelity of documents as well as meticulous follow-up on outputs and deliverables within pre-defined timeframes.


  1. Strategic support to Secretary General (SG)

The Executive Assistant:

  • Manages the communication between the SG on one side and the members of executive MSF platforms concerning meeting schedules, agendas and follow-ups;
  • Assists the SG with the preparation and communication of agendas for the meetings;
  • Coordinates and prepares supporting documents related to the meetings and collects relevant information to prepare the international / executive updates for all meetings;
  • Assesses information submitted to the SG, briefs the SG,  and makes other recommendations as needed;
  • Tracks and follows up individually the action items, deliverables and other commitments identified at meetings to ensure assigned tasks are completed according to meeting agreements;
  • Ensures minutes writing for meetings, follow-up of approval and communication to members of the concerned platform strictly within the established timeline;
  • Ensures posting of specific documents and updates on Tukul;
  • Performs directed research as requested, prepares and presents findings in the form of briefing papers, reports and presentations.
  1. Informational & communication linkage with MSF platforms, specifically the ExCom

The International Executive Assistant plays a proactive role in providing reciprocal informational linkage between the SG and members of the ExCom, towards other international platforms and bodies and any other stakeholders.

  • Specifically ensures fluid and timely communication between Core, Core+ and Full ExCom;
  • Supervises the communication flow of the ExCom’s decisions towards other stakeholders and appropriate platforms;
  • Supports the drafting of memo and content production: production of content to support ExCom discussions or to summarise ExCom’s positions, transcription of ExCom’s members position on transversal issues before a meeting, etc.
  • Supports the drafting of documents, drafts minutes, disseminates them within delays. Supervises feedbacks on the minutes by the stakeholders and finalises them before communicating it to the agreed lists and web platforms.

c. Administrative, organisational and logistic support

  • Updates the ExCom annual calendar;
  • Follows up deadlines, anticipates necessary reminders for preparations of meetings;
  • Flags preparation obstacles to the SG – amends agendas accordingly;
  • Flags calendar obstacles to the International Medical Secretary – amends agendas accordingly;
  • Drafts and ensures the follow-up of meeting requests with key stakeholders in the calendar;
  • Follows-up guests invitations according to the agenda;
  • Ensures the logistic of ExCom meetings: organize directly or liaise with assistants at the hosting office for room booking and preparation, catering, technical settings, document printing, transport and accommodation issues, welcome of external participants;
  • Ensure organized & thorough archiving of documents related to the Excom;
  • Follows up the SG planning, trips, absences, holidays, presence in Geneva;
  • Ensures ticketing and travel booking when needed;
  • Provides support to mail management (post mail and e-mail);
  • Manages all mail and official correspondence of SG (follow-up letters, official templates, congratulations, condolences, etc.);
  • Interacts with the office of the International President on key external events;
  • Can be requested to undertake other tasks as requested by the SG.


  • Genuine interest in, understanding of and commitment to the humanitarian principles, social mission, operations, and challenges of MSF;
  • Outstanding organisation skills; ability to complete multiple tasks within short deadlines, while maintaining correct priorities and quality;
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment; possessing maturity, patience and understanding;
  • Tact, diplomacy, and tenacity as well as the ability to build and maintain a strong network within MSF to enable information gathering and smooth logistical support;
  • Effective and supportive team member, problem-solver;
  • Ability to synthesise information and produce professional minutes and meeting outcomes;
  • Fluent written and spoken English and French, other languages an asset;
  • Previous work with senior management;
  • Office management experience;
  • MSF or other NGO experience an advantage;
  • Bachelor/postgraduate degree desirable;
  • This position requires short trips to other MSF offices within Europe and the flexibility to work outside normal business hours and occasionally on weekends.

    Deadline for applications: 3 January 2018

    Please submit all applications only by email to: IO-recruitment.gva@geneva.msf.org

    stating “Executive Assistant to the SG and Excom” in the subject

    Please submit only ONE file containing your CV and cover letter and name the file with your last name only.

    Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.