Past vacancy: General Director, Barcelona - Athens

Médecins Sans Frontières
Operational Centre Barcelona - Athens (OCBA)
General Director
Position Description



General Director OCBA


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international independent medical and humanitarian action-driven organisation, which offers assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict, without discrimination and irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation. The MSF movement is build around 5 operational centres supported by 23 sections and offices worldwide.

The OCBA (Operational Centre Barcelona – Athens) is one of the operational centres of MSF, an operational partnership established between MSF-Spain and MSF-Greece in 2005. The operational partnership is currently managed under the final executive responsibility of the General Director of MSF-Spain. OCBA has started the process to evolve into a network relationship with partners within the MSF movement.

The social mission is focused on assisting populations, communities and individuals as it is expressed in the MSF charter, while permanently exploring new possible scenarios where response to medical and humanitarian crisis could be relevant. The quality, relevance and volume of operations have evolved significantly over the past years. The MSF OCBA/ is currently active in 23 medical and humanitarian crises worldwide and contributes to the global response to emergencies of the MSF movement.

The OCBA actively promotes the analysis on the humanitarian causes and consequences attempting against the life and well-being of the populations with whom we work, and the analysis on the relevance of our action in a given crises. In an effort to favour accountability, transparency and coherence, we are committed to the evaluation of the relevance and impact of its operations. This process involves the analysis of the contexts in which MSF intervenes, the causes of suffering of people affected by conflict and crises and a constant reflection of our role, scope and limitations.

The OCBA is currently deploying around 51 field teams, 21 mission coordination teams and 5 organisational units based in Spain, Greece, Argentina, Kenya and Brazil. The organisational units are organized into Departments: Operations, Medical, Logistics & Supply, Finances, Human Resources, Communications & Public Awareness, Fundraising, Organization & Systems and General Direction. In 2011, an estimated number of 4,890 people made a reality the social mission of MSF OCBA, 260 of them based in headquarters and the rest deployed in the field. In addition, MSF counts in Spain with the support of more than 400 volunteers and a network of 6 delegated offices.

The estimated budget of MSF OCBA in 2011 is 113 Million euros. A similar income is forecasted, mostly private funds (90%), coming from the civil societies in Spain, USA, Japan, Greece and Argentina.



The General Director (GD) is responsible for carrying out the necessary activities to develop and achieve the goals of MSF OCBA and the MSF-Spain Association as delegated by the General Assemblies and the Boards of Directors.

The GD is therefore responsible to the highest level for the management, the operations, institutional representation and coordination with and as part of the MSF International movement.

The GD acts as a booster to guarantee an optimal development of the operational partnership at all levels and coordinates the actions undertaken with the rest of the managerial team thus bestowing coherence upon the organisation.

The directors of the MSF OCBA departments are accountable to the GD, who may delegate to the members of the management team some of his/her tasks.

The GD is responsible for proposing mid-term strategies to ensure that the MSF OCBA evolves according to operational needs and the social mission, to contribute to the build-up of the MSF international movement and to guarantee that the frameworks agreed by the General Assemblies and the Boards of Directors are duly complied with.

Therefore, the GD is accountable to the Boards of Directors and has direct and permanent relation with the President. Together they are the main representatives of MSF-OCBA at national and an international level, bearing in mind the ultimate responsibility of the latter in all matters affecting the social mission of MSF as mandated by the General Assemblies.


- Design, propose and execute the Strategic and Executive Plan, together with the Management Team and within the framework given by the Boards of Directors.

- Lead and oversee the annual Activity Plan and the associated Budget and Resource Plan and assure sound review and reporting on the compliance, achievements, shortcomings and propose adjustments as necessary.

- Lead and coach the Executive Core Group and the Management Team.

- Lead and coach the other support positions directly reporting to the DG (Humanitarian Affairs Senior Advisor, External Relations Senior Advisor, Executive Assistant, Information and Documentation Centre)
Challenge and offer guidance to the Director of Operations as the cornerstone and main responsible for the operations. Analysing the evolution of the operational portfolio and contributing in the definition of overall policies.

- Develop and oversee the implementation of a coherent and appropriate operational structure, functions and processes within the entire organisation thus ensuring an efficient, effective and human working atmosphere.

- Oversee and bear legal responsibility for all legal and financial agreements, including contracts and dismissals of staff. He/she is also ultimately legal responsible of MSF Spain. Promote and ensure an effective and participative internal communication.

- Represent OCBA in the MSF international executive governance platforms, participating in developing and designing common strategies, serving the strengthening of the MSF International Movement and the implementation of the social mission.

- Represent MSF and networking with national and international governmental, public and private institutions, organisations and fora.

- Guarantee the coherence of the image, reputation and positioning of MSF, in close coordination with the President and the relevant international platforms.

- Encourage and actively contribute to the reflection and critical analysis about medical and humanitarian contexts, stakes, practices and the role and identity of MSF.

- Report to the Board of Directors about all relevant issues, challenges and developments in the operations, in the operational partnership and the MSF International Movement.


The DG reports to President and Board of Directors

Staff reporting to the DG: Directors of the departments of Operations, Medical, Logistics & Supply, Finances, Human Resources, Communications & Public Awareness, Fundraising.

(They are part of the Management Team). Other positions reporting to the DG are: the Deputy General Director, the Deputy to General Director for Organisation and Systems, an the Executive Senior Assistant, the Responsible for External and Institutional Relationships, a Senior Humanitarian Affairs Advisor and the Information and Documentation Centre.

Other key working relationships: The DG is member of Executive Committee of MSF International and reports to the International Board.


- Experience in the humanitarian field of work, Field experience with MSF is an asset.
- Minimum 3 years experience in relevant management positions.
- Higher academic degree.
- Training and experience in administration, organisational management, including in human resources and financial management is an asset.
- Fluent English and good Spanish. French is highly valued.
- Full availability to travel at anytime to any part of the world.


The position requires:

- Full adherence and commitment to the principles, values and goals of MSF Strong leadership and decision-making capacity.
- Strategic vision and analytical thinking Strong people-management skills Orientation to results
Ability to deal with complex environments and to lead teams under pressure.
- Excellent diplomacy, public relations skills and networking abilities are essential attributes. Ability to effectively organize and communicate in multicultural environments and teams.

    Other requirements: flexibility, adaptability, self-control, beneficiary orientation, creativity, innovative mindset, risk-taking and the ability to envisage matters in the long-term.



    Location: based in Barcelona, Spain at the Médecins Sans Frontières Headquarters. Minimum of 3-year moral commitment, with a maximum term of 6 years.
    Annual Gross Salary: 63.990 – 69.180 Euros (divided into 12 monthly payments).
    Starting date: April 2012



    Applicants should forward their CV and covering motivation letter to:

    MOA Talent Management, BPI.
    Paseo de Gracia, 74 – 3º 1
    08008 Barcelona

    Under the reference: DG MSF - OCBA
    Closing date: 5 February 2012


    Replies will only be sent to short-listed candidates.
    All the information will be strictly confidentially managed.