Executive Director MSF Canada

Department: Executive Director's Office

Reports to:  MSF Canada Board of Director's President

Direct reports: Members of the Executive Director's Office and the Management Team

Position status: Permanent Fixed Duration Contract (3-year contract, with option to renew for another 3, maximum 6 years), Full-time (37.5 hours/wk)

Location: Toronto, with frequent travel in Canada and abroad


We are seeking an inspiring and visionary Executive Director who can champion collaborative projects and harness humanitarian passion to lead the innovative Canadian section of the world’s leading medical humanitarian organization.

 Medécins Sans Frontières

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is the world's leading independent international medical relief organization, implementing and managing medical projects in close to 70 countries worldwide and with national offices in 21 countries.

Our work focuses on emergency medical and humanitarian relief. We are guided by the principles of independence, neutrality and impartiality. For more than 45 years, we have been providing medical assistance to people affected by armed conflicts, natural disasters, disease epidemics, malnutrition crises and other emergencies.

MSF Canada at the service of the MSF movement worldwide

The MSF movement consists of humanitarian workers who ensure we stay true to our mission and principles. MSF Canada focuses on the entire movement, with three operational-centre partnerships and strong multilateral links across the globe. MSF Canada assumes an important role in supporting MSF field operations through innovative programs to assist MSF teams to better meet the needs of vulnerable populations.  MSF Canada is guided by the core values of humanity and integrity while operating on a results-driven model. We aspire to work in a manner that is innovative, collaborative, people-centered, ambitious and cost-effective. MSF Canada recognizes the need for flexibility and adaptability that will ensure we can respond rapidly to challenges and opportunities within the movement and the external environment.

Roles, responsibilities, and primary objectives

  • Strategic direction, implementation, and innovative partnerships

In collaboration with our Board of Directors and the Management team, the Executive Director leads all departments towards supporting the governance and strategic operational needs of partners across the MSF movement. The MSF Canada ED provides an important contribution to the strategy of MSF Canada and its position within the movement. S/he collaborates with the Board of Directors to define strategic directions for MSF Canada and coordinates the implementation of the strategic plan. The ED identifies and creates opportunities for MSF Canada to innovatively support the movement’s needs and that of patients we aim to serve.

  • Leadership and management of MSF Canada offices

The executive exemplifies MSF Canada’s core values (humanity, integrity, results) in all aspects of their leadership role. The ED is responsible for ensuring the effective, efficient, and ethical management of MSF Canada. This includes managing financial and human resources, as well as developing and upholding the credibility and reputation of MSF’s medical humanitarian work and brand in Canada. MSF Canada comprises two offices in Toronto and Montreal, with 60+ staff members and an annual budget of more than CAD$70 million. The ED is responsible for fostering and maintaining a dynamic, collegial and respectful work environment. 

  • International relationships and project stewardship

MSF is an interdependent and accountable international movement. MSF Canada occupies a unique position by fostering constructive linkages with other MSF offices based on field needs, and by ensuring high quality collaboration and measurable impact. The ED contributes to the executive oversight of our partner offices that manage operations. We support the humanitarian medical mission with field-focused initiatives, which range from improving the management of staff and patient security, to increasing the accessibility of medical care through telemedicine; implementing distance-learning projects to better equip our staff, and advancing innovation through MSF’s new Transformation Investment Fund. The ED stewards these international projects, ensuring they are well managed, adequately resourced, and meet the needs of the movement. The ED engages with the MSF movement to develop opportunities for better meeting the needs of beneficiaries and shapes the organization proactively as the humanitarian sphere evolves.

  • Public representation, advocacy, and policy impact

The ED has a key role in humanitarian thought leadership in Canada. The ED plays an active role in the definition of advocacy strategies to support operations and to raise public awareness and understanding of medical humanitarian issues. S/he actively engages with other humanitarian actors nationally and internationally. S/he regularly serves as spokesperson for MSF to the media, donors, and the Canadian government.

  • Promotion of associative engagement and meaningful contribution

MSF is governed by the association’s passion and spirit of humanitarianism. The ED promotes the association’s participation and contribution by being open to new ideas, sharing current issues within the movement, and promoting debate and discussion.

The role will be based in Toronto, Canada at the MSF Canada head office.  Benefits include 100% coverage on Health and Dental plan, Life Insurance, RRSP contributions, Long-term / Short-term Disability, starting 4 weeks’ Vacation/year, Flexible work hours, Relocation packages, Professional Development budget, Employee Assistance Program, and a positive and innovative office culture.


  • Strategic vision, insight, and thought leadership.
  • At least 10 years’ experience with increasing levels of responsibilities in a large non-profit humanitarian organization.
  • Proven leadership and management skills.
  • Demonstrated track record of nurturing talents and staff in a challenging but supportive environment.
  • Strong analytical and complex problem solving skills.
  • Ability to influence and build strategic coalitions.
  • Function in a highly visible, internal and external facing role.
  • Excellent communication & presentation skills, both written and verbal in English.
  • Ability to negotiate complex and interdependent relationships within the MSF movement.
  • Transferable knowledge/experience of the tools needed to strategically manage a growing organization (including approaches to strategic planning; annual planning; budget development; monitoring & learning; HR development plans & evaluation tools, fundraising management, etc.)
  • Masters’ degree, or equivalent education/experience, in health administration, public health, business administration, public administration or related area.
  • Minimum three years’ experience in senior level humanitarian fieldwork (MSF preferred). Grounded knowledge of humanitarian principles and their applications.
  • Fluency in English essential; Fluency in French, written and spoken is strongly preferred. Other languages such as Spanish and Arabic are highly desirable.



Applicants should be prepared to provide three professional references upon request. NOTE – references will not be contacted unless we request their contact information.

Deadline for application: Friday June 30th 2017.

Only electronic applications will be accepted.

Please note: Any questions or concerns regarding accommodation and accessibility can be addressed to Kathy Mahinpou at 1-800-982-7903 ext. 3454.

We appreciate and thank you for your interest, however only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.