HDT MENA Deputy Representative

Title: HDT MENA Deputy Representative

Location: Dubai

Duration: Open ended position – a commitment of minimum 3 years is expected

Contract: Full-time position – 100%

Reporting to: HDT MENA Representative

Starting date: ASAP

Deadline of applications: 7th January 2018



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.

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 Humanitarian Diplomacy Team (HDT):

The Humanitarian Diplomacy Team provides support to the MSF operations through linkages and actions to and from external networks (political, humanitarian, medical, and civil society).  It is managed by the International Operations and Humanitarian Diplomacy Coordinator (IOHDC). The HDT maintains active relations with its network and continually informs the MSF operations of the relevant analysed information. The HDT influences its network through specific actions for the benefit of the MSF programs and MSF operations’ goals.  In carrying out its actions, the HDT responds to direct requests from the operational program managers (desks and heads of missions – HoM) and others at MSF (general directors, directors of operations, etc.). Longer term positioning and actions are also co-ordinated within the HDT team and again are directed by the MSF operations at the headquarters and field level.

The HDT maintains active and effective internal links to co-ordinate its work.  These include the reflection and advocacy centres of the operational sections, the MSF Access Campaign and partner sections (regarding their relations with their own host governments and regional networks – e.g. South Africa, Germany, China, Australia, etc.), International President, Secretary General, International Medical Secretary & Medical Co-ordinator, medical working groups + others as necessary. The HDT interacts with the field missions of MSF (HoM level) in order to improve the overall quality of the support to operations.

The HDT MENA Representative’s role:

Initially, a first HDT position opened (in 2010) to develop and implement advocacy and representation towards a variety of actors in the Middle East & North Africa Region:

  • Multilateral organisations (Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation, League of Arab States, Gulf Cooperation Council, Islamic Development Bank)
  • MENA States (with a particular focus on Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Qatar)
  • Non-state actors (armed groups, religious leaders, NGO’s, charities, Red Crescent and Red Cross societies, medical associations, think tanks, etc.)

One of the key added values of the HDT in the region is to ensure that access to key interlocutors is available to all OC’s.

HDT MENA Representative’s focus in the next few years will be the following:

Geographical areas:

  • Continue support intensively the Yemen and Syria crisis, as well as Iraq
  • Reinforce MSF’s engagement with Riyadh (opening of a liaison office) and Abu Dhabi, as a support to MSF’s operations in Yemen and beyond (Syria, etc.) and with the GCC countries in general;
  • Reinforce MSF’s engagement in Turkey/Ankara in complement and interaction with the MSF Representative in Turkey;
  • Further explore and develop MSF’s strategic engagement with Teheran, in close collaboration with the Operational Centre Paris operations;
  • Increase the support to MSF operations in Libya and Egypt;
  • Investigate and monitor opportunities for MSF’s engagement with Maghreb countries.

Operational exchange and networking

  • Continue to support the operations through facilitation / identification / activation of external contacts
  • Upon request of operations, contribute to the development of a technical capacity to support contacts, database, networking strategies, stakeholders mapping at intersectional level for state and non-state actors; service to MSF missions in the region.

Facilitate and support the inter-desks meeting

  • Organize, prepare, chair the inter-desks meetings
  • Ad hoc support to the priority dossiers identified by the inter-desk for the intersection

Facilitate and support advocacy efforts in the region

  • Organize and chair regular meetings with advocacy people in the region;
  • Ensure the connection with Operations and Communication;
  • Upon request of operations, stimulate and support any joint/inter-sectional advocacy initiative

The evolution of the MSF stakes in the region and the explosion of the context made necessary to increase the capacity to support MSF’s operations and share a workload that has dramatically increased due to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation and the development of MSF operations in the Arab-Muslim world. The extension of the geographical zone and contexts requiring HDT investments in terms of need for representation, networking, advocacy and facilitation of operations towards the multiple stakeholders to North Africa and beyond in the Muslim world implies extra capacity under the coordination of the HDT MENA representative. 


The HDT MENA Deputy Representative is hierarchically and functionally accountable to the HDT MENA Representative based in Beirut. The HDT MENA Deputy Representative is part of the International Office and the HDT.

Based in Dubai but with the expectation of significant mobility, the post also constitutes a backup for the HDT MENA Representative in case of absence or to follow-up priority issues in the MENA region (with a focus on the GCC) and potentially in other countries beyond (Sahel, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.).


Upon delegation from the HDT MENA representative, the Deputy increases the capacity of the HDT to invest in dossiers and contexts in needs, to develop further networks and extend geographically today HDT’s reach.


All following responsibilities are enshrined into a framework and a roadmap set by the HDT MENA Representative.

Representation and networking

  • Participates and represents MSF in humanitarian conferences and events across the region, especially in the GCC
  • Participates to the development of relevant contacts for the MSF movement and operations within the region, especially in the GCC
  • In collaboration with the HDT MENA Representative, the post holder will support the representation and diplomacy efforts of the Executive Director of MSF UAE upon request


  • Proposes diplomacy or engagement strategies linked to the conflicts in the region by:
    • Identifying with the HDT MENA Representative medical and humanitarian issues of concern to MSF for which it is necessary to develop diplomacy efforts (e.g. barriers Syrian refugees face with regard to access to health care)
    • Facilitating harmonisation of intersection data collection
    • Identifying key stakeholders and people of influence
    • Identifying diplomacy opportunities (events, conferences, opportunities for bilateral meetings) or create them (organisation of MSF visits in the region).
    • Preparing humanitarian diplomacy and representation rounds and talking points
  • Uses diplomacy and representation opportunities to communicate on the identity of MSF and improve the impartiality perception of MSF in the region
  • Conveys advocacy and temoignage messages developed by operations,  by facilitating access to relevant actors in the region for MSF representatives
  • Relays or implement MSF global advocacy initiatives in a proactive manner on topics relevant to MSF and by promoting and disseminating MSF academic work

Support to the HDT MENA representative

  • Ensures the backup of the HDT MENA representative when priority issues arise or in case of absence
  • Defines and implements diplomacy and representation efforts on contexts requiring investments and development of a network
  • Handle part of the intersectional work (taking interdesk minutes to insure proper and timely reporting)

  • Field working knowledge/experience  with MSF (or equivalent such as the ICRC) required, preferably in operations
  • Knowledge of international humanitarian affairs and solid knowledge of or experience in the Middle-East and Arabic and Muslim societies/countries
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including fluent written and spoken Arabic and English; French a major advantage
  • Knowledge of basic provisions of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law
  • Ability to synthesize complex and sensitive material, record information accurately and appropriately in the form of minutes, write complex correspondence and internal memos
  • Ability to write high-level correspondence and interact with senior diplomatic officials
  • Strong computer literacy, including ability to use word processing and spreadsheet and database software and to search the internet for research purposes
  • Outstanding proven time management and organizational skills
  • Ability to travel on a frequent basis all around the MENA region
  • Keen attention to details with ability to track multiple projects at one time
  • Ability to prioritize ongoing versus immediate needs appropriately
  • Strong ability to develop contacts and to work under pressure and independently
  • Excellent judgment, diplomacy, flexibility and patience
  • Genuine commitment to MSF's humanitarian principles


Deadline for applications: 7th January 2018

Please submit all applications only by email to:

IO-recruitment.gva@geneva.msf.org stating “HDT MENA Deputy Representative” in the file

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.