International Human Resources Coordinator (IHRC)

Title: International Human Resources Coordinator (IHRC)
Location: MSF hub location - Geneva strongly preferred
Duration: Long-term contract
  Full-time position
Reporting to: International Secretary General


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, 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 International Human Resources Coordinator (IHRC) was created in 2007. The role of the IHRC has developed into playing a key role in defining, together with the Human Resources  Directors making up the IDRH , the movement’s key HR challenges, ambitions and priorities at an international level and ensuring their follow up and implementation.



  • reports to the International Secretary General
  • coordinates the HR Directors platform (IDRH)
  • is a member of the Management Team of the International Office 


This is a dynamic role in a unique position to lead the strategic integration of MSF’s International HR initiatives towards achieving the movement’s operational needs and ambitions. Driven by a belief in the value of people as key to our achievements, the IHRC ensures HR is aligned with MSF’s strategic needs, is instrumental in strengthening international cooperation across the movement, and is responsible for the coordination and facilitation of the IDRH to: 

  • Identify common needs and interests, ensuring that these become part of the international HR agenda; fostering accountability through transparency, information sharing and monitoring of the application of international HR agreements;
  • Harness the benefits of our diversity by leveraging strengths and facilitating the exchange of best practice as well as organizational learning from successes and failures;
  • Anticipate and adapt to environmental changes; seizing opportunities, shaping processes and fostering a culture that enables organizational capacity for innovation and creativity;
  • Balance ambition and tenacity of international HR projects with results and pragmatism, considering the feasibility and maturity for implementation within the sections and OCs;
  •  Build relationships and facilitate the link on intersectional HR priorities, dossiers and projects with the Excom, the RIOD and operations more broadly; 
  • Coordinate, facilitate, and strengthen HR cooperation across the movement:
    • Coordinate, stimulate and engage HR colleagues, defining whether projects and / or dossiers should be allocated to specific section(s) or managed through the International Office; and 
    • Analyze metrics and reflect on the impact of international HR initiatives.


Lead the strategic HR development of MSF

  • Analyze and anticipate the HR challenges of the coming years in the MSF environment and propose HR action accordingly.  
  • Analyze and challenge the organizational directions of the movement from an HR perspective.
  • Ensure the integration of the principles defined at the International Board in the HR vision, strategy and policies.
  • With IDHR, define the HR vision for the future of MSF movement
  • With IDRH, define the strategic HR directions of MSF as a movement and fix priorities for the coming years
  • With IDHR, coordinate the HR actions in answer to the operational strategies decided in the different executive platforms: Excom, Riod, Dirmed…
  • Communicate the strategic HR direction and priorities to the MSF movement: executive platforms, sections …

Ensure international coordination:

  • Steer and when needed challenge, the IDRH platform to perform in accordance with its purpose and deliver on its role and responsibilities.
  • Lead the liaison with the Excom and other executive platforms via the Secretary General or other international coordinators.
  • Chair, prepare, coordinate and disseminate the work and meeting outcomes of the IDRH meetings and annual all HR Director meeting, as well as ongoing work (dossiers follow up, working groups etc) as agreed in the work plan. 
  • Manage the debates, encouraging input, highlighting any inconsistencies and guiding discussions to achieve concrete actions and take decisions. Mediate disagreements between members as necessary, ideally to reach consensus on key issues. 
  • Proactively bring issues to the attention of the Secretary General, especially where Excom support may be needed.
  • Coordinate movement wide HR activities distributing tasks, engaging capacities and representing MSF HR as agreed by the IDRH.
  • Ensure proper and effective coordination, collaboration and information sharing between MSF sections and branches.
  • Coordinate the international HR multiyear work plan as well as annual implementation plan and budgeting. Seek to promote coherence, feasibility, and pertinence of the international HR calendar and agenda.

Promote increased coherence and accountability 

  • Proactively identify and promote areas for furthering international HR collaboration, improvement and shared investment (increased efficiencies).
  • Promote transparency and active sharing of relevant information across the movement with a view to promoting mutual accountability. 
  • Safeguard international processes, promoting adherence to agreed systems of functioning and decisions or agreements. Play a role in objectively monitoring the implementation of international agreements.


  • Oversee, facilitate, and/or lead international HR projects as delegated by the IDRH.
  • Broker how projects and / or dossiers should be implemented (through all, bilateral, or tri-lateral approach; via a section or OC; via some form of intersectional construct; managed through the international office etc)
  • Is a member of the Symphony Program Board.
  • Ensure the IDRH remains accountable in the implementation of international projects


  • Liaise closely with the HR sub platforms: Pool Management, Operational HR, and Technical and International Training platforms.
  • As member of the IO Management Team, actively contribute to promoting and supporting the role of the International Office. 
  • Represent MSF to the “outside world” concerning matters related to HR.



  • Genuine interest in and commitment to the humanitarian principles and challenges of MSF
  • The capacity to acknowledge, respect and integrate cultural differences in a way that facilitates the achievement of MSF’s objectives.
  • Significant experience within MSF at HQ and field and at senior management level
  • Ability to understand the needs and constraints of operations
  • Proven ability to contribute to the development of MSF’s medium and long term HR strategy as well as to prioritise immediate needs
  • Strong team player with the ability and interpersonal skills to succeed in a geographically dispersed team and interact at all levels within MSF
  • Ability to adapt to changing circumstances, contexts, tasks, responsibilities and people.
  • Excellent facilitation skills
  • Good project management skills
  • Complete fluency in written and oral English 
  • Ability to handle large volumes of work under pressure, tracking multiple projects or activities, and to deliver quality outputs within short deadlines 
  • Self-motivated, tenacious and enthusiastic 
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills
  • Ability to travel based on needs, up to 20%of the time


  • Fluency in French; other languages an asset
  • Extensive experience in Human resources management.


Starting date: March 2015
Location: MSF hub location - Geneva strongly preferred
Duration: Long-term contract
  Full-time position
Deadline for applications: 24 January 2015

Please submit all applications only by email to: stating “IHRC” in the title.

 Submit your CV and cover letter in ONE file and name the file with your LAST NAME.

-Only short-listed candidates will be contacted-