International Association Coordinator


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 19 sections, 23 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 governance reform process of MSF, which started in 2009, led to some important changes in the international associative architecture of the MSF movement. New governing bodies, mechanisms and procedures took shape in 2011-2012 and continue to evolve with the work of the new International Board (IB) and standing committees, as well as International General Assembly (IGA) Representatives. These new bodies, and the new associations voted into the movement, are now in 2013 influencing the shape of associative elements within the movement.

The International Association Coordinator (IAC) is responsible for animating and coordinating associative life at an international level, cultivating a vibrant and well-informed adherence of members and colleagues. This includes coordinating the Network of Association Officers/Coordinators in the movement and its working groups, leading the coordination of the Field Associative Debates, serving as the critical executive link to the Motions Committee; guiding and mentoring young associations; coordinating and supporting the International General Assembly; serving as the executive link for the International Board’s Associative Standing Committee; and animating and coordinating the new Movement-Wide Association.


The International Association Coordinator:

  • reports hierarchically to the International President and functionally to one or more delegated IB members
  • manages 2 staff - the International Associative Communications Officer and the Movement Wide Association (MWA) Officer, plus any temporary positions, volunteers, or interns joining the International associative team
  • coordinates the international Network of Association Officers/Coordinators
  • collaborates with International Coordinators, International Office colleagues and with associative bodies around the movement
  • is the secretary of the IB Associative Standing Committee (ASC)
  • is the executive link to the Motions Committee.


The International Association Coordinator implements the associative vision of the IB/IGA and is responsible for animating and coordinating associative life on an international level.

The IAC also provides administrative support to the International Board, and to the Associative Standing Committee.


1. Coordinate associative activities at an international level, developing an associative community among the 23+ national or regional associations

  • Coordinate and animate the group of Association Officers/Coordinators
  • Work closely with the ASC chair on the development of strategies for animating the associative around the movement
  • Coordinate and facilitate international projects related to the work of Association Officers/Coordinators
  • Cultivate an international community with an emphasis on the guidance and support of new and young associations
  • Guide the new associative initiatives through the application process for consideration to become an institutional member
  • Manage a central repository for associative statistics, studies and information, and ensure its availability towards the movement
  • Manage and be responsible for the International Association Coordination budget

2. Animate and facilitate mechanisms for associative voice and action within the movement and specifically in the field

  • Coordinate the annual international Field Associative Debates (approximately 60 FADs), including developing preparatory materials, liaising with all focal points, briefing board members, providing guidance, and facilitating gathering of results
  • Organise the materials and outputs, support and serve as a key executive link for the Motions Committee, proposing mechanisms and tools, gathering and reviewing motions, tracking results
  • Ensure dissemination of FAD reports and results to the movement
  • Propose, develop and oversee communications materials serving as feedback and accountability mechanisms for the broader membership
  • Support the development of strategies and proposals to strengthen associative voice and action in the movement

3. Guide and support new and young associations (core responsibility)

  • Pro-actively facilitate new associative initiatives in the field and around the movement, providing guidance, information and support
  • Elaborate guidelines and tools for their development
  • Initiate, develop and organise trainings, mentorships and workshops

4. Coordinate the annual International General Assembly, facilitating an IGA Representative associative community for information exchange and collaborating with IGA Representatives on associative projects

  • Coordinate the IGA, overseeing the logistics, managing responsibility for the event budget, managing deadlines of a broad collaborative team and liaising with hosts
  • Oversee the facilitation of an online community and working space for IGA Representatives, providing ongoing information resources and tools to Representatives
  • Develop tools with IGA Representatives and other committees of the IB/IGA to address and enhance mechanisms for associative voice and action

5. Support to the IB Associative Standing Committee

  • Coordinate regular meetings of the ASC with the ASC Chair, preparing agenda priorities and documentation, planning meetings, tracking outcomes
  • Collaborate with ASC members and subgroups on priorities and projects, tracking results and ensuring availability of tools and information
  • Collaborate with the ASC chair on reporting ASC progress to the IB, developing presentations, proposals and reports for the ASC, IB or IGA and giving presentations upon request
  • Provide a link to the ASC from the group of Association Officers/Coordinators, for information exchange and the development of a strong associative vision for the movement

6. Oversee the management and development of the international, Movement-Wide Association

  • Support the development of the MWA in its early stages: building membership, tracking progress, cultivating a sense of community and providing resources for the association to grow
  • Oversee the management and maintenance of the membership database
  • Oversee the provision of member support services
  • Oversee and support the cultivation of an associative community, developing strategies, overseeing the development of online and other tools, supervising the facilitation of elections, helping to build links to other associations,
  • Oversee the organisation and coordination of member activities or events

7. Committees & Meetings

  • Facilitate and participate in associative Network working groups
  • Prepare and facilitate meetings of
  • the Associative Standing Committee
  • the Motions Committee
  • Participate in
  • the MSF International Management Team
  • meetings or projects of the IGA Representatives on request
  • FADs and General Assemblies on request
  • Any other international or inter-sectional meetings of the MSF associative movement as relevant.
  • Attend Board meetings on request

8. Administrative support

  • Provide support to IB and ACS members as requested

9. Management role
Direct supervision of:

  • International Associative Communications Officer
  • MWA Association Officer
  • any temporary positions, volunteers, or interns joining the International associative team


Qualifications and work experience

  • Graduate with relevant degree. Masters highly preferred.
  • Experience working in the humanitarian sector
  • Experience with MSF or other NGO is a significant asset

Specific requirements

  • Genuine interest in, understanding of, and commitment to; the humanitarian principles, associative structure, social mission, operations, and challenges of MSF.
  • Knowledge of, and interest in governance issues in an NGO context
  • Oral and written fluency in both English and French. Other languages especially Spanish and editing skills will be useful.
  • Experience in project management and event logistics
  • Experience cultivating discussion, debate and building communities
  • Experience with data management, knowledge of database functions, web development software and communications tools. Graphic design knowledge is an asset.
  • Able to work in a multi-cultural environment; ability to recognise, respect, learn from and integrate cultural differences
  • Outstanding organisational skills with the ability to handle large volumes of work, track multiple projects and support multiple groups or activities at any one time
  • Strong team player with the ability and interpersonal skills to interact and communicate at all levels of MSF and to undertake all levels of tasks (the role’s scope ranges from administrative support to input into strategic debates at the movement level)
  • Ability to collaborate, influence and reach reasonable outcomes without holding authority
  • Able to synthesize complex, sensitive written and oral information; then to analyze and report it in a concise, accurate and cogent form and whilst respecting any necessary confidentiality
  • Self-driven, enthusiastic, dedicated, and autonomous
  • Able to work successfully under pressure within short deadlines; maintaining appropriate priorities, adequate detail, flexibility, and positivity.
  • Ability to travel up to 50% of the time and to work regularly during the weekend

Starting date: late January 2014 (or as soon as possible thereafter)

Contract: 100% - Permanent with a minimum commitment of 3 years

Location: Geneva

Deadline for applications: 17 December 2013

Please submit all applications only by email to: stating “International Association Coordinator” in the title

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

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to be available for interview on January 6 or January 10 2014.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.