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Director of Operations (m/f/x)

Brussels (Belgium)

  • Organization: MSF - Canada
  • Location: Brussels (Belgium)
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-25

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*Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian aid organization that provides assistance in more than 60 countries to populations in distress, to victims of natural or manmade disasters and to victims of armed conflicts, without discrimination and irrespective of origin, religion, creed or political affiliation. To develop this work, the MSF Operations Department is looking for a: Director of Operations (m/f/x)*


The present organisational structure of the Operations Department is made up of a team of two Directors of Operations (DOs) responsible for the management and supervision of the operations within the Operational Centre Brussels (OCB).

They respond to a series of decisional, strategic, coaching, and representation responsibilities, both towards the operational cells (including regional teams) and within the Operations Department, the OCB group, the MSF movement, and the external world. They report to the OCB General Director and collaborate and ensure coherence between themselves and with the directors of the other departments.

The DOs are responsible for specific teams, the overall continuity and the definition of operational strategies in the OCB, as well as the management of the department. Dossiers related to internal OCB issues, the MSF movement and external stakeholders are divided between the two directors.

Even if each director is following specific teams, they still come out as one voice and manage the whole operational portfolio on its globality.



  • Ensure joint decision-making on the OCB operational portfolio.
  • Jointly define and propose multiyear operational vision and priorities for the OCB portfolio.
  • Define, elaborate and follow up on operational strategies together with medical and analysis departments and assisted by other departments.
  • Ensure decision making about operational strategies, project implementation, adaptation and resource allocation etc. with the view on the overall portfolio.
  • Support, and coach the cells, regional support teams, the Heads of Missions (HoMs), and co-ordination teams in general.
  • Support and follow up of specific dossiers as agreed in the DO-team.
  • Ensure coherence of the operational ambitions with the OCB resource policies within the DO-team.
  • Ensure the security management of the field operations regarding policy and implementation.
  • Represent OCB at external and internal meetings, at MSF international platforms, and towards the media.

Main activities

  • Lead the process of the OCB multiyear operational prospects including leading workshops and working groups as well as the writing of the Operational Prospects.
  • Guide the operational choices within the Prospects frame and the directions of the medical strategic priorities, the geographical focus and the evolution of the overall portfolio. Be responsible for the overall annual operational budget as approved by the Board of Directors and the follow-up of the annual budget.
  • Lead and steer the preparation of the Multi-Year-Annual Review of Operations (MY/ARO) for the countries and regions under direct responsibility.
  • Decide on the allocation of funding and human resources according the revised decisional processes of the Operations Department and in coherence with the multi-year/annual operational budgets and human resources frame.
  • Decide on exploratory missions, on starting, reorienting, and ending projects through the decision-making platforms.
  • Stimulate and assume responsibility for "Speaking Out" on the regions of concern (restitution, information, evidence, and the taking of positions emanating from missions).
  • Support, coach, and guide the CO & Dep-CO teams; in their functioning and decision-making process (incl. organisation, evaluation, feedback, being available for advice etc.).
  • First-line managers of the teams of CO.
  • Ensure departmental coherence and a motivating departmental identity. Foster exchanges among cells and a horizontal peer culture.
  • Actively lead in a series of strategic meetings with each department, to enhance inter-departmental cohesion and collaboration.
  • As the final responsible for the security of the teams in the field, support and supervise the decisions to deploy teams in insecure environments and in the planning and implementation of the security management in these missions. Ensure the implementation of the duty of care principles for all staff. Directly supervise the RMU team.
  • Represent OCB vis-à-vis other sections in the movement, political / military stakeholders, international bodies along a strategic framework, this is in addition to initiatives in this sphere taken by HoMs and Operational Coordinators (COs).
  • Explain and defend the MSF/OCB position in the media.
  • Work on certain internal dossiers to enhance the operational debate.
  • Facilitate operational modules during internal trainings.
  • Be an active member of the OCB management team (co-dir).
  • Participate in regular Board of Director’s meeting for OCB, MSF B and OCB partner sections.
  • Participate actively in the RIOD, the platform which brings together the Operations Directors from all operational centres.
  • Participate actively in the MEDOPS, the platform which brings together the Operations & Medical Directors from all operational centres.
  • Directly manage the Management Support officer of the department.


  • Minimum 5 years' experience with Médecins Sans Frontières, with significant field experience as a HoM or Medical Coordinator.
  • Strategic vision.
  • Ability to manage teams and processes.
  • Sense of initiative and human relations.
  • Ability to be an active team leader and player.
  • Dynamic and proactive.
  • Fluent English vital, French and other languages are an asset - Excellent communication skills (oral and written).
  • Willingness & availability to travel frequently, mobility between headquarters and field projects vital as well as travel to partner sections and other Operational Centres.
  • Adherence to MSF principles and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust, Empowerment.
  • Adherence to the MSF Behavioural Commitments.


  • Contract type: open-ended (CDI) - full time
  • Location: Based in Brussels
  • Salary Package: Salary according to MSF-OCB HQ grid - Hospital insurance (DKV) - Pension plan - 100% reimbursement for public transportation costs
  • Starting date: March 2021

Deadline for applications: 25/01/2021

CV + cover letter to be sent to mentioning “**Director of Operations**” in the title.

Please name your application documents with your LAST NAME. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

*MSF values diversity and is committed to create an inclusive working environment. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of disability, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status or ethnic and national origins, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.*

The protection of your personal data is important to MSF. By submitting your application, you consent to MSF using your personal data. For more information, consult our privacy notice to job applicants.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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