Director of Manson Unit & Deputy Medical Director (OCA)

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Médecins Sans Frontières

JOB TITLE: Director of Manson Unit & Deputy Medical Director (OCA)


HOURS: Full-time, 37.5 hours per week


LOCATION: London. Hybrid, ideally three days and a minimum of two days per week in the office

REPORTS TO (JOB TITLE): Executive Director, MSF UK SALARY: Salary: £89,748.07

Internal salary grade: MT 21

BENEFITS: 28 day’s annual holiday entitlement (pro rata for part time staff) plus Public/ Bank Holidays. MSF UK currently provides an employer pension contribution of 10% of salary after 3 months continuous employment. Access to independent, free and confidential 24/7 advice on a range of issues, including personal relationships, mental health, bereavement, finances, childcare or work-related issues. Cycle Scheme or Bike Loans available. Group Life insurance currently set at a minimum of 4x basic salary


The Manson Unit (MU) The MU is a multi-disciplinary medical team within MSF UK. We aim to improve the quality of MSF’s medical programmes worldwide, so that the best possible care is delivered to patients.

The MU is a team of c40, comprised of medical doctors and specialists in infectious diseases, noncommunicable diseases, health information systems, epidemiology, social science, geographical information systems, medical editing, and research communication. We provide direct support to our field programmes through providing specialist advice on medical issues, implementing new ways of working and piloting new approaches, supporting and overseeing research studies, and supporting outbreak response.

The OCA Public Health Department (PHD)

The MU works together with the Public Health Department (PHD) of Operational Centre Amsterdam (OCA) to support the overall purpose of MSF, providing medical and public health leadership for the organisation. The department is responsible for providing strategic direction and integrated advice on medical and public health issues to the field and headquarters. The PHD plays a key role in developing and maintaining the medical humanitarian identity and image of MSF OCA, and in continuing to develop and improve intervention strategies to be relevant and effective.

In addition to providing medical management of MSF’s field operations, the PHD develops and provides technical and strategic guidance across a range of fields including infectious diseases, noncommunicable diseases, mental health, nutrition, paediatrics, and vaccination as well as epidemiology, health promotion, laboratory, pharmaceutical quality/medical supply, and water/sanitation.


The Director of MU is responsible for the strategic direction and operational running of the function including:

• Providing leadership and management, bringing medical expertise and experience of working in humanitarian health programming to the benefit of the communities we serve, MSF UK/IE, and its MSF and external partners.

• Optimising the MU’s functionality as a hub for academic and professional medical and research networks, bringing expertise and technical support to the MSF movement, and developing a positive working culture and effective communication to successfully build collaborative partnerships across the MSF movement and externally.

• Collaborating towards the strong leadership of MSF UK as a member of its senior executive team, the Committee of Directors (CoDir).

• The Director of MU is also Deputy Medical Director, OCA and together with the Medical Director, OCA and Deputy Medical Director, OCA, (based in Amsterdam) drives OCA’s strategic plan and medical strategy; ensuring close collaboration with OCA Operations to improve the medical services offered to our patients.


• Overall accountability for the MU budget c£4.5m

• Directly line manages five roles, all of whom themselves manage teams: directly and indirectly responsible for a team of c40 people.

• A key member of the UK Committee of Directors (CoDir), with collective responsibility for the leadership, culture and efficacy of MSF UK as a dual registered charity and LLC and an institutional member of the MSF movement.

• Influences MSF’s medical, communications and advocacy agenda through developing key relationships externally and within MSF and represents MSF UK within those networks.

• Regularly engages with:

o UK/IE Board of Trustees o OCA’s Operational and Health Platforms

o Medical Units

o Medical Directors

o Medical Committees and other governance boards

o Field country management

o Ethical Review Board

• Engages with intersectional medical, research and innovation platforms.


• Play a key role in setting the strategic direction of MSF UK and its implementation within the priorities of the wider movement.

• Set the strategy for the MU and therefore contribute to the medical strategy for the MSF movement as a whole.

• Define and ensure implementation of the medical components of the OCA strategic plan, including driving key strategic goals as defined by the OCA Medical Director.

• Provide medical operational leadership as Deputy Medical Director, OCA including collective responsibility for OCA medical-operational programming as a member of the operations platform.

• In close collaboration with the OCA Medical Director and OCA Deputy Medical Director, Amsterdam, lead the PHD, driving, building and implementing the PHD elements of the OCA Strategic Plan.

• Operate as Head of Research for OCA and MSF UK.

• Have a strong voice within and be a trusted member of the UK CoDir, PHD and the MSF movement.

• Identify and address potential risks and opportunities in the humanitarian medical field for both MSF UK and the wider movement.

• Provide strategic advice and support to senior MSF staff, including the Executive Director and Board Chair, on medical risks, challenges and opportunities.

• Ensure the MU’s resources are used to the optimal benefit for the communities MSF UK’s works with and the wider organisation.

• Ensure MSF UK maintains a reputation among key audiences for sharing innovation and research rooted in MSF’s medical operational experience.

• Represent MSF and MSF UK and increase MSF UK and the MU’s networks and relationships with institutions, academia, international experts, national health authorities and other actors through the development of strong collaborations.

• Lead MSF UK’s Scientific research collaborations and ensure MSF Scientific Days are successfully delivered, and operational research uptake increased.

• Provide strong team leadership, creating and clearly communicating the direction of travel for the MU. Set KPIs, ensuring these are measurable and effective, and reviewed and adjusted in line with evolving strategy and priorities.

• Balance short-term, emergency responses with longer-term objectives – ensuring the department can pivot/reprioritise in response to changing circumstances, without losing sight of strategic objectives.


• Substantial medical programme leadership and management in a humanitarian setting within MSF or equivalent.

• Degree in Medicine with extensive experience in clinical practice.

• Commitment to the aims and values of MSF and a demonstrable understanding of, and commitment, to humanitarian issues.

• Ability to provide strong strategic judgement in response to challenging operational decisions and crises and build the trust of key colleagues.

• Experience and ability to operate comfortably in a complex international structure where influence is based on relationships, and a highly collaborative style of interaction.

• Demonstrated experience in medical research and programme evaluation.

• Evidence of driving through strategy and change in a complex, matrix led organisation.

• Evidence of building, leading and managing an effective team.

• Advanced interpersonal and negotiation skills, with an ability to manage and build relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

• Fluency in written and spoken English.

• Ability to speak other languages such as French and/or Arabic (Desirable)

• Willingness to travel to internationally to other MSF offices and countries of operations, exceptionally for extended periods.

• Experience in the practical use of personal IT equipment and Microsoft Office 365 suite. The ability to effectively collaborate and communicate within a hybrid working environment utilising Teams, SharePoint, One Drive and Yammer.


Leadership Values Respect: Acting/behaving in a way that shows you care about the other’s feelings and well-being.

• Value colleagues as human beings, demonstrated through equal respect for staff at all levels and across the whole movement

• Inclusive, listen to colleagues and respect their views Integrity: Adherence to MSFs principles and ethics, reflected in transparent honesty and complete harmony in what one thinks, says, and does.

• Offer staff an equal opportunity to access L&D initiatives.

• Demonstrates inclusiveness, acceptance, and appreciation to all staff. Humanity: Is people-driven, appreciative, compassionate, and caring with staff

• Identify developmental needs and behavioral changes needed through data and conversations, while advise on possible solutions to support teams.

• Builds strong working relationships with colleagues and other stakeholders.


The responsibility of the individual for her/his activities, accepting responsibility for them, and disclosing the results in a transparent manner

• Take responsibility and ownership for own work.

• Admit mistakes, misjudgments or errors and immediately informs others when unable to meet a commitment, and seek help when needed.

• Communicate clearly with staff and other stakeholders.


Openness to continue one’s own development and to support the development of team members. Inspires and develops people. Encourages and supports individual and team learning

• Coach colleagues when needed, working with them to support them in their development to succeed in the organisation.

• Collaborate with colleagues to find the best solution to support their team.

How to apply


Please apply on our website by submitting a copy of your CV together with a letter of motivation (please upload as one document) by the closing date.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application checklist

Please check that you have included the following in your application:

• An up-to-date CV

• Letter of Motivation, which is a supporting statement demonstrating how you meet the key requirements of the role

Recruitment timetable:

• Closing date for applications: 26 June 2024 9am (BST)

• First round interviews: 1-3 July (TBC) 2024 (in-person at MSF offices in London)



We are committed to removing barriers for people with specific accessibility needs. If you need an adjustment to the recruitment process to be considered for the role, please let us know by contacting [email protected]

Examples of adjustments we can make:

• offering you an alternative if you are unable to use our online application system

• providing necessary information, such as the job description or assessment materials, in an alternate format

• allowing you to have someone with you during an interview for example, a Sign Language interpreter.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We are a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive organisation. MSF UK thrives when everyone feels comfortable bringing their best self to work. We celebrate difference, whilst striving to create an environment where colleagues feel respected and valued for their unique potential. We are committed to our values on equity, diversity, and inclusion. Please read our Equality & Diversity policy for more information.

MSF UK is an equal opportunities employer. We are committed to diversity and creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We encourage applications from all sections of our diverse community.


MSF UK/IE is dedicated to safeguarding everyone who comes into contact with the organisation, for whatever reason and however brief. All posts are subject to safer recruitment process which include robust reference requests, scrutiny of employment history and where applicable criminal record and barring checks.

Our safeguarding commitment is underpinned by policies and procedures which encourage and promote safe working practice across the organisation. On joining MSF UK/IE you will be required to attend safeguarding training to ensure responsibility for and maintaining safe working practice and to safeguard our teams, beneficiaries, and communities.

Right to work in the UK

Candidates must have the right to work in the UK. Employment sponsorship may be provided for the successful candidate. Please click here to check whether you have the right to work in the UK. If you would like to discuss your right to work status further, please contact [email protected].

For questions, issues or further information, please contact [email protected].

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