Humanitarian Affairs Advisor

Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Dec 28

Position description

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international humanitarian organization that provides medical care to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from health care in over 70 countries. 

We welcome candidates who bring a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences to join us in working toward MSF’s common mission.


Part of MSF International Humanitarian Diplomacy Team (HDT), formerly known as the Humanitarian Advocacy and Representation Team (HART), working within MSF USA Program Department.


The Humanitarian Affairs Advisor (HAA) provides support to the two New York based Humanitarian Diplomacy Team (HDT) Representatives. As part of the New York based HDT team, the HAA will hold a pivotal position that requires broad understanding of the United Nations, United States Government and other international actors based in the US. Importantly the HAA will have the ability to triage workflows to ensure outputs are a relative, value added, product for MSF field operations. The HAA will also act as an expert resource to MSF USA on issues related to field programs.



  •  Primarily responsible for research, analysis and streamlining support structure to the Humanitarian Representative, but with secondary responsibility to the Representative to the UN. Research topics will be guided by operational priorities as defined by the Directors of Operations international platform (RIOD) and MSF USA Strategic Plans and under the direction of the Humanitarian Representative and in consultation to the Rep. to the UN. At present key files include; Global Health Security Agenda, World Bank, humanitarian response capacity, USAID funding analysis, and UN Security Council monitoring.
  • Works to amplify, define and deepen external messaging for Representatives.
  • Under the guidance of the Representatives the HAA will participate in select meetings and international forums on behalf of MSF, with an emphasis on supporting research and analysis agendas. 
  • Under the supervision of the Humanitarian Representative, the HAA will research and understand the role of the World Bank in contexts of concern to MSF, attend relevant meetings, and expand the actor mapping and MSF network within the bank to facilitate access as required by field operational advocacy and diplomacy needs. 
  • Monitors developing trends in global health and international humanitarian literature and publications and shares with MSF networks.
  • Fluidity in responsibilities is expected in light of emerging operational crises that require support, inclusive of travel to the field. Short-term assignments as requested by OCs and agreed by HDT is possible.

Advocacy Unit/Program Department Administration and Management 

  • Responsible for managing, supervising and evaluating the Program Associate (PA). This includes: setting clear attainable objectives, evaluating employee job performance, in accordance with established MSF procedures. The PA currently manages scheduling for key interlocutors in the US, manages the contact database and supervises two Administrative Assistants. 
  • Guides the PA’s management of the contact database and capitalizes on network analysis to define contact lists by theme & country for HDT. Provides mentoring to the PA on actor mapping.
  • Develops the PA’s knowledge of Humanitarian Affairs in accordance with best practice for staff development.
  • Responsible for providing support to other departments of MSF-USA, particularly Communications, Development and Access Campaign through initial gathering of operational information when needed and they cannot be supported through their own intersectional platforms. The position is considered the point person on cross-departmental humanitarian issues, deciding which to handle and which to pass on to the Representatives.
  • Contributes to the development and analysis of HDT NY annual plan and budgeting process through feedback on department organization and objectives, human resources, and strategic resource use.
  • Willingness to undergo Critical Incident Response Training and work on CIRT teams as needed.


  • Experience in a similar role with another humanitarian organization with field or comparable experience; MSF experience in an HAA, HAO, Senior Field Coordinator, or Head of Mission or comparable experience preferred. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of diverse contexts, the US Government and United Nations. Knowledge of the World Bank an asset.
  • Extensive understanding of International Humanitarian Law is preferred.
  • Experience in supervising staff a plus.
  • Strong analytical abilities, ability to summarize complex topics and research in short briefs and ability to work independently. 
  • Strong communication skills.
  • English fluency required.

Application instructions

To apply, send letter of interest/cover letter and resume to: [email protected], ATTN: Humanitarian Affairs Advisor” position.

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