Médecins Sans Frontières


Médecins Sans Frontières is an international independent medical-humanitarian organization, which offers assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict, without discrimination and irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation.

MSF is a civil society initiative that brings together individuals committed to the assistance of other human beings in crisis. As such MSF is by choice an association.

Each individual working with MSF does it out of conviction and is ready to uphold the values and principles of MSF.

The MSF movement is built around six operational directorates supported by MSF’s 21 sections, 24 associations and other offices together worldwide. MSF OCBA is one of those directorates. The operations are implemented by field teams and the mission coordination teams; together with the organizational units based in Barcelona, Athens and decentralized in Nairobi, Dakar and Amman. The field operations are guided and supported by 5 Operational Cells, the Emergency Unit and other departments supporting operations, including the Fundraising Department.


The purpose of this position is to lead and oversee MSF’s communication activities in Portugal. This key position implements and develops MSF-PT communication and branding strategies. The Head of Comms has the overall responsibility for how MSF is communicated towards the Portuguese public following the movement’s communication guidelines and principles. He/She will contribute for the public Brand awareness, identity and perception of MSF, its visibility, transparency and accountability of the organization, ensuring it is aligned with MSF Strategic Plan and Operational Policies, and to support the Portuguese office in all communication aspects and according to the MSF Portugal Association Statutes. The person will also need to ensure that MSF Portugal has the required resources, competencies, systems and tools to implement successful communication activities in Portugal and as well to foresee future development of the comms team in MSF Portugal (propose and manage the evolution of the comms set-up and resources, etc.).

To support the strategy, it is important that MSF Portugal communication is closely joint with our fundraising activities and objectives and supporting field HR objective and as well the advocacy activities/ institutional relations developed in Portugal. We also work closely as a movement, especially with MSF Spain and MSF Brazil, and on the level of the Portuguese-speaking African countries.


The Head of Comms role supports and contributes to the:

  1. Overall Goal: MSF has increased awareness and strengthened its brand and position as an independent medical humanitarian actor and provides sustainable financial resources for MSF operations.

And is responsible for the Communications objectives:

  1. MSF will be top of mind for journalists and decision makers in 2026 in medical humanitarian issues.
  2. MSF, its work and humanitarian crisis are well-known among key target groups and people in Portugal.

The Head of Comms Unit – Portugal is hierarchically accountable to the Country Representative of MSF-Portugal and functionally/technically to Communications Department of MSF Spain and MSF Brazil. She/he hierarchically manages the Press Officer and social media and Campaigns Coordinator based in Lisbon.


The Head of Comms will have the overall responsibility of MSF Communications in Portugal. The office is now in its third year of activities, and the focus is on awareness building (including brand strategy and implementation), media and visibility as well as expanding and improving our overall communications (especially digital).

A) Strategy and Planning

  • Responsible for implementing MSF-PT strategies (Strategic Plan, brand strategy) and Annual Action Plans including setting and monitoring targets and key performance indicators. Assessing, adapting and developing communications approaches and tactics.
  • Responsible for follow-up of communication activities (Media – Social media – Events and campaigns) as well as reporting monthly on key performance indicators.
  • Ensure alignment of MSF movement’s communication policies and guidelines.
  • Make strategic choices on MSF Portugal’s communication priorities to support strategic objectives and activities in Portugal.
  • Oversee field communications cooperation, including support from and to Portuguese fieldworkers and operational comms.
  • Oversee that MSF Portugal has the necessary resources and tools to achieve set objectives, including digital channels, press service, and support to fundraising. This includes assessing when we can share resources and find synergies with MSF (example Spain and Brazil), services and competences which may need to be found externally and ensuring the MSF Comms team has the necessary competency and tools to perform.
  • Responsible for crisis communications preparedness plan and management for the Portuguese office.
  • Responsible for conceptualizing and executing creative public events and campaigns that draw attention to MSF’s work and advocacy priorities in Portugal.
  • Support to the office and movement in advocacy initiatives when relevant and supporting MSF-PT’s objectives.

B) Management and Budget

  • Manage and coach the members of the team and ensure all communications activities are done in a coordinated way, including with Fundraising activities and support to HR. Ensure communications team has the ability to react and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Ensure the office has the strategic human resources capacity and competencies needed, together with external suppliers and support from movement.
  • Oversee the comms related learning and development needs for office and fieldworkers to ensure communication capacity is improved. Increase humanitarian communications knowledge in the office.
  • Support any comms related recruitments.
  • Responsible for the communications budget, monitoring expenditures to ensure cost efficiency, effectiveness and a responsible handling of finances.

C) Coordination

  • Support coordination and alignment of Comms and brand activities within MSF-PT office, especially in close cooperation with the Head of Fundraising.
  • This position, in collaboration with the head of office, will analyse needs and opportunities and will make proposals to develop the communication team in the years to come.
  • Represent and coordinate for MSF-PT at relevant Comms MSF platforms and meetings in Spain, Brazil and internationally.
  • Share experiences from the Portuguese office with the rest of the MSF movement and learn from international counterparts in the movement for the benefit of MSF Portugal.
  • Build and develop networks in Portugal with relevant actors.
  • As a member of Managers’ team, support and develop MSF Portugal’s overall strategic goals.


  • 2 years’ Experience in communications strategies and brand building.
  • Excellent knowledge of the Portuguese media and communications landscape.
  • Experience in leading others and/or managing a team.
  • Experience in budget planning and monitoring.
  • Fluency in Portuguese and English, both written and spoken
  • Academic degree or equivalent work experience in communications, journalism or other relevant areas.
  • Ability or experience with working in small and new office with diverse tasks and levels, in a growth phase.
  • The post holder is required to travel to other MSF offices worldwide (especially Spain and Brazil) and might be required to visit to MSF field projects.
  • Previous MSF or other experience from a non-governmental organisation.
  • Experience in advocacy, strategic communication, or public engagement.


  • Experience in crisis communications and communications in sensitive contexts.
  • Knowledge of web publishing and social media.
  • Other language skills (Spanish, French).


  • Commitment to MSF’s Principles
  • Strategic Vision
  • Results and Quality Orientation
  • Teamwork and Cooperation
  • Analytical Thinking
  • People Management


  • Position based in Lisbon office.
  • Full time job.
  • Open-ended contract.
  • Annual gross salary: HQ-4A 39,126.77 € (divided in 12 monthly payments) + Secondary Benefits based on MSF-OCBA Reward Policy. Subjected to local conditions.
  • Starting date: as soon as possible.

How to apply

To apply, please follow the link below and submit your CV and cover letter: https://careers.msf-applications.org/job-invite/6539/

Closing date: July 6th, 2022, 23:59 CET (Central European Time)

MSF OCBA is a people-focused humanitarian organization that offers a diverse, collaborative, and inclusive work environment. We believe this approach enhances our work and we are committed to equity in employment. We embrace diverse backgrounds of people working together to exhibit their passion in action for the social mission of MSF.

All information collected has the sole purpose of recruiting for the position described and is treated with confidentiality and data protection, in accordance with European standards and Portuguese legislation.