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Emergency Manager


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent medical humanitarian organisation with the purpose to preserve life and alleviate suffering, while protecting human dignity and seeking to restore the ability of people to make their own decisions. MSF provides assistance to people worldwide, regardless of their background, religion or political convictions. Above all, we aim to save lives and to offer medical care to victims of wars, disasters and epidemics. MSFs staff give direct support to the population and commit to act as witness to events surrounding populations in danger. MSF also appeals to those in power, including governments and international organisations, and speaks out about the abuses we encounter in the course of our work. The underlying basis for realising MSF’s objectives is respect for medical ethics, humanitarian principles, human rights and international humanitarian law.

MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam (OCA) currently operates medical humanitarian interventions in 25 countries. On a yearly basis MSF-OCA deploys over 1000 international staff and employs approximately 8000 national staff. At headquarters in Amsterdam, approximately 250 employees offer their support to the projects.

The Emergency Support Department (ESD) is part of operations and plays a key role in responding to (new) humanitarian crisis’s and emergencies. The ESD conducts exploratory and assessment missions; initiates and manages large scale or complex interventions to support people in precarious situations; The ESD also provides support to existing missions/projects in promoting and guarding emergency response capacity, enabling continued functioning of existing projects in long-term emergency and/or high security  settings. The ESD consists of a headquarter based Emergency Desk of five people, the Head of the Department and three Emergency Managers (one non-medical and two medical) and an Operations Support Officer. The ESD works in close collaboration with other functional and thematic support departments.  Managed directly by the ESD is the OCA Emergency Team for rapid deployment in the field (approx. 20 positions, mixed medical and non-medical profiles).

As of November 2019 we are looking for a

Emergency Manager

based in Amsterdam (NL)


  • Reports hierarchical to the Head of the Emergency Department.
  • Works in close cooperation with the ESD Medical Emergency Managers.
  • Hierarchically manages the Head of Missions, Emergency Coordinators and Emergency Team members for each mission within her/his designated contexts;
  • Chairs the operational support team (OST) in OCA HQ for the MSF interventions/context s/he is involved in: Humanitarian Affairs Advisors, Communication Advisors, Logistical Advisors, Financial Advisors, HR advisor, Medical Support Team.
  • Functionally co-operates with and is part of the Operational Department (eg Operational Managers, Security Advisor, Director of Operations).


  • The overall objective of the post is to provide emergency leadership across ESD supported contexts and countries, to ensure MSF-OCA interventions effectively address the humanitarian needs of the populations we serve, in line with the OCA strategic plan.
  • Initiates rapid response to emergencies, from HQ and /or through field missions;
  • Detects and identifies potential emergency intervention needs through scanning and monitoring of high risk / unstable situations, chronic crises, conflicts, etc.;
  • Contributes to the guarding, promotion and enhancement of emergency relief expertise, capacity and response within MSF-OCA;
  • Contributes to the operational policy (development, research, introduction, implementation and continuous improvement of our emergency humanitarian action) of the ESD.
  • Contributes to the overall development and steering of OCA operations globally.


  • Manages the emergency programs as delegated by the Coordinator of the ESD on a day to day basis;
  • Participates in the identification, planning and execution of exploratory missions;
  • Participates in the definition, initiation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of emergency programmes and related advocacy strategies;
  • Responsible for regular (internal) updates and reports on emergency programmes;
  • Visits the emergency interventions to manage/support, advise and evaluate these interventions;
  • Chairs the emergency operational support teams (ost), and ensures adequate performance of staff in these ost’s;
  • Ensures that MSF-OCA field practice meets internationally agreed (medical) ethics, standards and laws, as feasible within contextual constraints.
  • Assists the Coordinator ESD in administrative matters of a practical and policy-related nature;
  • Represents MSF-OCA (emergency operations) in various internal and external forums including public media;
  • Cooperates with the MSF emergency network to promote coherent action and reactivity;
  • Facilitates internal training modules, preparatory/ management courses.


The candidate will have experience with emergency aid in complex political and humanitarian contexts. S/he has at least 2 years of experience with MSF management in the field (Emco/HoM/Medco level). Proven communication skills (verbal and written) are necessary to act as a proper intermediary between the field and the office. Being a team player will be crucial, as the operations team will have to complement and support each other. S/he has proven to be a result-oriented manager.

Other requirements

  • Knowledge and experience in the humanitarian world; commitment and passion for the goals and work of MSF;
  • academic level of thinking and working; proven ability to analyse complex situations;
  • medical background or strong affinity with emergency public health; Good understanding of structures and actors in the humanitarian field.
  • Proven ability to provide strong leadership, strategy and vision in program management.
  • experience of initiating, organising and managing emergency operations,
  • experience in managing humanitarian operations in complex security settings;
  • experience in initiating, design and implementation of advocacy strategies including public communication.
  • knowledge of the MSF organisation (preferably both field and head office) and of MSF policy and procedures;
  • representative skills; proven experience in negotiation.
  • good at taking initiative, problem-solving ability; positive personality able to motivate others in extreme challenging situations; flexible & attitude and stress-resistant;
  • good command of relevant languages, including English and preferably French or Arabic;
  • willing to travel as needs be on short notice (up to 40% of the working time spent in the field); willing to work irregular and long hours in the spirit of  MSF. Willingness to travel to unstable and conflict settings;

Note: it is not possible to do this position part-time, however if candidates have a specific interest in job-sharing, this can be considered. 


  • A contract for one year with a renewal option (subject to satisfactory performance).
  • Salary grade 8 (with a gross monthly salary between € 3,775 and € 5,388 depending on relevant professional experience and based upon a 40-hour working week).
  • Other benefits include 30 holidays and a premium free pension.


If you are interested in this post and would like additional information, please contact current ai Emergency Manager Rob Onus or the head of the ESD Karline Kleijer,

The application deadline is 29 September 2019

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Artsen zonder Grenzen, Plantage Middenlaan, Amsterdam, Nederland
Emergency Manager
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