Head of Policy

Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Dec 18

Position description

MSF International is the legal entity that binds MSF’s 21 sections, 24 associations and other offices together. Based in Geneva, MSF International provides coordination, information and support to the MSF movement, and implements international projects and initiatives as requested. 

Created in 1999, the Access Campaign (AC) is an MSF advocacy entity guided by MSF’s charter and the organisation’s seminal agreements, and dedicated to serve MSF’s social mission. Deeply rooted in MSF’s medical operations, the AC works to tackle barriers to people’s access to medical care, ensuring that quality products such as medicines, vaccines and diagnostics are available, affordable and adapted to people in MSF projects and beyond, now and for the future. 


The Access Campaign’s multidisciplinary team addresses the underlying technical, legal and political barriers to developing the needed biomedical innovation and accessing existing products. While engaging in upstream systemic obstacles to access, the AC remains driven by MSF’s operational and medical priorities, balancing disease/product work and global international health policy work to ensure achievements of the AC translate into tangible benefits to MSF field interventions and beyond. 

Research and policy analysis, advocacy, lobbying, communications and public campaigning are the various means by which the AC intends to challenge (or preserve) the status quo or to create an enabling environment for change. The expertise garnered by the AC serves to influence external policy making and to guide MSF’s internal thinking. 

To ensure availability, affordability and adaptability of quality assured health products for patients, the AC intervenes in three main areas: 

1. Products: Eliminating barriers to access to new and existing health products and promoting innovation needed by MSF and beyond; 

2. Policies: Countering harmful access policies, regulations and strategies and promoting pro-innovation and access policies at institutional and international levels; 

3. Environment: Analysing and landscaping key global health actors, corporations, portfolios and pipelines, policies, regulations and barriers to access. 


The Access Campaign is administratively housed by MSF International, based in Geneva, but the team is spread over a number of different MSF offices globally. The AC team consists currently of some 45 people including medical doctors, pharmacists, lab technicians, lawyers, campaigners, communication experts and support staff. 

The Head of Policy is a member of the Management Team, which is led by the Executive Director and currently consists of 8 persons. 


The Head of Policy leads the activities of the policy team, in particular the analysis of the policies and the opportunities to change relevant to the AC’s medical priorities, and developing and implementing strategic advocacy towards achieving the AC’s overall objectives. In 2018, the medical priorities of the AC are tuberculosis and antibiotic resistance (including diagnostics), and vaccination, with continued attention for a range of medical and policy dossiers including neglected tropical diseases, viral hepatitis, medical innovation and intellectual property. 

As a member of the Management Team of the AC, the Head of Policy contributes to the strategic management and orientation of the Access Campaign and builds support for the Access Campaign’s objectives and activities in the wider MSF movement. 

The Head of Policy represents MSF and the Access Campaign externally at high-level meetings with government, other political or medical actors, and in the media. 


Specific Functions:
With the support of the Policy team, conducts policy analysis and monitors policy developments in the designated medical priority areas of the AC with a specific focus on intellectual property and Access & Innovation. 

With the support of the Policy team, and in collaboration with other colleagues in the AC, develop position papers on key actors or key policies that will affect MSF activities related to the mandate of the AC 

Supports the design and implementation of international policy and advocacy strategies in relevant priority areas, including specific campaigns as appropriate 

As member of the Management Team, contributes to strategic direction on priority advocacy issues and provides management support to teams implementing key advocacy and campaign objectives 

Provides analysis and builds support in key MSF platforms for priority areas of AC policy, and oversees support provided to MSF field projects on policy issues where appropriate 

Maintain an understanding (landscape analysis) of the external and internal environment that is driving Access and Innovation and its implications for MSF field operations 

Ensures that other members of the management team (and others as needed) are informed of important developments in the access to medicines environment, in particular specific opportunities for advocacy interventions. 

Cultivate a network (think tanks, thought leaders, academia etc.) that enhances policy analysis and understanding both within the AC but also the wider Movement. 

Manages and leads a decentralised multicultural and multidisciplinary team focused on policy and analysis including evaluating their progress on a periodic basis. 

Recruits and mentors the members of the Policy team. 

Ensures the team composition and structure is best organised to respond to the challenges of the future 

Ensures adequate budget and financial management and adherence policies are in place including reporting and risk management. 

External Representation:
Maintains networks with relevant individuals and institutions, and make connections with other colleagues of the AC 

Builds alliances with other civil society organisations and other allies in high income and low income settings. 

Represents MSF at high-level international meetings and towards governments, international organisations, foundations, and other relevant actors 

Acts as one of the media spokespersons for the AC 


  • Solid knowledge of MSF and commitment to the humanitarian action and principles of MSF 
  • Masters level university degree in a relevant field (health, law, economics, international relations, politics, or other), and 10 years of experience in policy and advocacy related work, including several years in a management position. 
  • In-depth knowledge of international health policy in the area of access to medicines, medical innovation, or development. 
  • Demonstrated experience in leading high-level international global health policy research and analysis including advocacy towards policy makers or other stakeholders with proven record of achieving change 
  • Experience in effective building of civil society coalitions to effect policy change 
  • Experience in high level public speaking and in working with the media as a spokesperson 
  • Significant management experience, ideally at a senior level; experience of leading a decentralised multicultural and multidisciplinary team. 
  • Capacity to enhance a positive team dynamic and foster collaboration internally and with other MSF actors 
  • Ability to work within deadlines while maintaining flexibility, tact and perseverance; 
  • Strong communication and inter-personal skills coupled with a well-developed sense of tact and diplomacy 
  • Excellent speaking and writing abilities in English; additional languages an advantage 
  • Availability for frequent travel approximately 30-50%

Application instructions

Please submit all applications only by email to: [email protected] stating “Head of Policy” in the file - Please submit only ONE file containing your CV and cover letter and name the file with your last name only. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on Globaljobs.org

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