The MSF movement
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is a worldwide movement of current and former field staff, grouped into national and regional associations. Collectively, they make sure that MSF stays true to its mission and principles.
Currently, there are 23 associations. All are independent legal entities, and each elects its own board of directors and president. Most associations have an executive office that raises funds and recruits staff for MSF’s operations.
The associations are attached to five operational directorates, which manage MSF’s humanitarian assistance programmes. Other units, including supply centres and medical units, also support our activities.
MSF offices, units, directorates and associations interconnect and work together in various ways, and are formally bound as one movement by a shared name, a shared commitment to the MSF Charter and principles, and shared membership of MSF International.
All 23 MSF associations, as well as individuals and the International President, are members of MSF International, the association that safeguards the identity of the MSF Movement. The highest authority of MSF International, the annual MSF International General Assembly (IGA) is made up of representatives of each association as well as of the individual membership, and the International President. The International President is elected by the IGA, and is currently Dr Unni Karunakara. Each representative, and the International President, has one independent vote on issues brought to the assembly for decision.
The IGA is responsible for safeguarding MSF’s medical humanitarian mission, and provides strategic orientation to all MSF entities. It delegates duties to the International Board, and holds the board accountable for those tasks.
The International Board is made up of representatives of the operational directorates as well as a group elected by the IGA, and is chaired by the International President.