Head of Mission Venezuela (m/f/x) At Médecins Sans Frontières

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.

Head of Mission Venezuela (m/f/x)


Venezuela is still ranked as a developed country, but declining oil revenues and economic mismanagement had fueled years of major economic decline which resulted in internal deficits and international debts. Limits on the importation of external currency and the collapse of private sector production led to the world’s highest inflation. There are generalized shortages of basic goods, including food and medicines and medical facilities continue collapsing due to a lack of water, electricity, staff and supplies. The country today is in a state of near collapse at all levels.

The overall level of violence in Venezuela also remains very high and Venezuela is one of the most violent countries in Latin America. The states with the highest rates of violence are Miranda, Bolívar, Aragua, Distrito Capital y Guárico.

At a more political level, the battle for the legitimate leadership of Venezuela continues and the last parliamentary elections in the end of 2020 have not been recognized free and fair and the opposition did not even take part.

In July 2019, a report by the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, accused Maduro’s government of tortures and illegal detentions and of being responsible of the collapse of the health system. In March 2020, an actualization of this report insisted in the deterioration of human rights situation in the country.

The COVID pandemic has given another dimension to the crisis and the borders have been totally closed for most of 2020 and very limited testing and treatment is available, idem vaccination capacity.

Over 5 million Venezuelans have left the country and arrived in mainly neighboring countries where their needs are far from being met. The humanitarian needs inside and outside Venezuela for those migrants and refugees are till today very high.

There is a limited history of international humanitarian NGOs working in Venezuela (Caritas is a notable exception). For a long time, the government continued to deny there was a crisis and refused any international assistance. This situation is slowly changing, and some major humanitarian agencies have even publicly shared the fact that they reached an agreement with the government to increase their humanitarian response.

MSF has a working plan agreement with the health authorities to carry out our medical activities.


In collaboration with the operational cell, defining the mission operational strategy. Coordinating MSF’s program execution, identifying humanitarian challenges, representing MSF’s interests before third parties. Ensuring compliance to MSF’s charter, ethical standards and policies as well as international and national laws and regulations, in order to realize organizational objectives and reach quality targets for the mission.**


· Initiating and leading the mission-wide operational strategy; including country policy, annual plan, budget and policy frameworks. Leading the management team translating the strategic objectives into operational activities. Monitoring developments in MSF’s general policies and strategies and adapting the annual plan of the mission accordingly.

· Monitoring and analyzing the political, humanitarian and medical situation in the country and in the region. Identifying potential fields of intervention and determining response strategies.

· Representing MSF towards external actors (national authorities, NGO’s, donors, military organizations, media, etc.) to create commitment and negotiate terms and conditions for field operations.

· Being responsible for the planning and coordination of all human, material and financial resources to ensure the overall performance of the mission

· Leading the mission and its staff, providing a clear vision for the direction of the mission and bringing staff together across functional and geographical lines to achieve the mission’s objectives

· Managing, coaching and developing direct reports in line with human resource policies

· Producing all required planning and program performance reports in line with the HQ reporting cycle.

· Defining and ensuring the implementation of the security framework in the country, in order to ensure safety of staff and visitors across the mission.

· Ensuring the implementation of the Inter-operational directorate Security Agreement (ISA) in the mission, both in spirit and letter, promoting a culture of pro-active information sharing and collaboration.

· Closely monitor the context and developments in the country & region that can have a direct or indirect impact on the activities.

· Increase the networking capacity in the country and continue working on the acceptance of MSF in all project locations.

· Engage pro-actively in innovative capacity building and team strengthening with the other team members.

· Coordinate and collaborate with other MSF actors in the country and develop the most optimal working environment.

· Adopt a coaching and mentoring approach and ensure the working environment is inclusive and respectful of all embracing diversity.



· University degree. Particularly in medicine, public health or paramedical or the field of international relations is a plus.


· At least two years in management positions in humanitarian aid

· Essential experience with MSF or other NGOs

· Essential working experience in developing countries


· Strategic Vision

· Leadership

· Networking

· Cultural

· Languages: good level of Spanish mandatory, good level of English strongly desirable


· Expected starting date: prior Q4 2021, to be discussed according to candidate availability

· Contract type: 12 to 24 months fixed term contract; based in Caracas

· Salary according to MSF-OCB Field salary scale. transport, accommodation, vaccinations are taken in charge by MSF. Per diem + medical insurance

· Possible to have dependent in the mission with the current administration reality

· Adhere to the MSF principles and to our managerial values: Respect, Transparency, Integrity, Accountability, Trust and Empowerment

· Adhere to the MSF Behavioral Commitments

· A dynamic and stimulating work environment alongside multicultural colleagues

How to apply

CV and cover letter to be submitted by 4 August 2021 latest via Active.Fieldrecruitment@brussels.msf.org. Please mention “**HoM Venezuela**” in the subject of your email.

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, race, color 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.

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