MSF Association

About the MSF Association

MSF health promoters in Kamrangirchar, Bangladesh Caption
MSF health promoters in Kamrangirchar, Bangladesh

Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is a vibrant movement made up of people from all corners of the world.

Each of them shares a common purpose: to save the lives and alleviate the suffering of people in danger by delivering medical care where it is needed most.

Our success over nearly 50 years is a testament to these people, who have dedicated their time and expertise to MSF’s work overseas and at home.

To continue this success our staff – past and present – can shape the movement’s future by becoming a member of an MSF association.

Today, MSF is made up of 25 associations – organisations owned by members. The associations make sure that MSF remains true to its purpose, principles and values and help shape the future of the MSF movement.

How do MSF associations work?

Becoming a member means taking collective responsibility for MSF. And because the people making the decisions have worked with MSF, the organisation stays focused on medical care and our core principles: independence, impartiality and neutrality.

The MSF UK Association

In the UK, Association members elect the UK Board of Trustees, who govern on their behalf.

The Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for what MSF UK does. It appoints our Executive Director, takes responsibility for the actions of MSF UK and works to guarantee that the MSF principles are respected.

The Board delegates the implementation of the strategy to the MSF UK management team, who run the office day-to-day. Every six weeks the Board meets to ensure MSF UK is well run and achieving its objectives.

Jump to the end of this page to meet the Board of Trustees.

Every year, usually in May or June, the Association gathers at the Annual General Meeting, the heart of MSF UK's internal democracy.

If you are a UK MSFer, you can access the UK Association website.

The MSF movement

Elected representatives from the UK meet together with colleagues from the other MSF associations contributing their voices to the global discussions shaping MSF’s work.

During the annual International General Assembly the MSF President is appointed and an International Board chosen. They are responsible for bringing coherence to our vibrant and diverse movement.

Who can become an association member?

MSF overseas staff, office staff and office volunteers may apply to join after they have worked with MSF for six months.

Their contribution to MSF may have been with any section and in any project country. They do not have to live in the UK, nor be a UK citizen.

How to join?

Complete this application form and return it to Pam O'Brien by email.

(The three page PDF document will open in a new tab in your browser, click the download button on the top right of the screen and save the file to your computer. Open the document, fill in the interactive fields, save and then attach to an email.)  

The power of the associations

The MSF associations turn our organisation into a powerful movement, led by the people who work for us, which is responsive to the realities of delivering medical aid in the world’s most challenging places.

To contact any of the Board members below, please send an email to Simon Heuberger, MSF UK's Board Coordinator. 

Javid Abdelmoneim

Javid Abdelmoneim - elected 2015

Javid is an Emergency Medicine registrar working at Imperial College healthcare NSH trust in London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and has a Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene.

He joined MSF in 2010 as a doctor, and has worked in seven MSF projects in the Middle East, Africa, Haiti and on Mediterranean search & rescue.

He also works in broadcast media, being a BAFTA, Grierson and Emmy nominated television presenter on health and science factual documentaries.

Javid is currently Chair of the Board, a position he was appointed to in 2017. He represents MSF UK in the wider MSF movement in the governing bodies of the MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam and at the MSF International General Assembly.

Dal Babu

Dal Babu – co-opted 2019

Dal served for over 30 years in the Metropolitan Police and is the former borough commander of Harrow. He was the first chair of the National Association of Muslim Police which worked with home secretaries, chief constables and community leaders. In 2010 he was elected to the National Police Superintendent Association of England and Wales. He has extensive board level experience in policing, community safety, child and adult safeguarding.

In 2010 Dal was awarded an OBE for services to the police and communities. Other awards include: the London High Sheriff Award for work with young people (2011), and the London Peace Award for community engagement (2011).

Dal is a Non Executive Director of School Academy and Camden and Islington NHS Trust. As well as a  trustee for House of Illustration, Artichoke and Comedy School. He volunteers for a number of charities in London and enjoys football, cycling, hiking as well as cricket with his daughters in his spare time.

Rachael Craven

Rachael Craven - elected 2020

Rachael is a consultant anaesthetist at University Hospitals Bristol with 25 years’ experience working within the NHS. She has a particular interest in education and staff development and has held previous senior management roles in medical education and clinical governance.

Rachael has worked for MSF for 15 years with experience in a range of contexts but more recently in emergency response to earthquakes and conflicts. She is active in education for medics deploying overseas and has been a regular faculty member on the ICRC War Surgery Course and the Royal College of Anaesthetists Global Anaesthesia Course as well as developing educational materials.

Laura Heavey

Laura Heavey - co-opted 2020

Laura worked for MSF as a paediatric doctor between 2015 and 2017 in South Sudan and Borno, Nigeria. She returned to Ireland to do a Masters in Public Health. She is now in the final year of her training as a public health specialist in Dublin.

She joined the board of MSF Ireland in 2018 and became the Chair of the Irish board at the AGM in June 2020.

She was co-opted to the UK board in June 2020.

Nicola McLean

Nicola McLean - elected 2018

Nikky is an NHS Paediatric Dietitian with a Masters in Public Health. She has over 20 years leadership and management experience, principally within the NHS, and this has included representation at board level.

She spent four years from 1993 working in both Liberia and Sudan as both Nutritionist and Medical Coordinator, followed by six years as a volunteer and then coordinator of the PS Network (now Volunteer Link) which offers psycho-social support to all returning MSF UK field staff.

Derek Morgan

Derek Morgan – co-opted 2019

Derek has been a Chief Executive/Chief Operating Officer in large multi-national corporations for the last thirty years, most recently as Global COO for the HR, Benefits and Investment Consulting Division of Aon.

Currently he is COO for Magic Breakfast, a UK children’s charity. Derek is also a Trustee/Governor of a five school Multi Academy Trust where he chairs the Finance and Audit committee.

Chris Peskett

Chistopher Peskett - elected 2020

Chris is a registered general nurse, who from the end of 2018 until being elected to the board, had been working as a Face to Face Fundraiser for MSF, in addition to speaking on behalf of the organisation around the country. He volunteers in the national programme for resettlement of Syrian refugees, as a befriender and informal English teacher.

Chris had worked for both the NHS and German health service, before moving to development work, for example in Brazil’s national leprosy programme. He subsequently started with MSF in 2002, with whom he has continued, with the exception of one year spent with the Swiss Red Cross. With MSF he has had a variety of roles, mainly as Nursing Activity Manager but also as Medical Team Leader and Project Coordinator. He has worked in programmes of primary health care (particularly in Sudan and South Sudan), outbreak responses, HIV and TB, as well as with migrant and refugee populations.

Damien Regent

Damien Régent – co-opted 2016

Damien works at board level across sectors with a focus on finance and risk oversight. He currently chairs audit and risk committees at the Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and at Optivo, the housing association. In the charity sector, he chairs audit and finance committees at Crisis (homelessness) and at Pro Bono Economics, a charity consultancy.

Between 2013 and 2019, Damien sat on the board of two small software businesses. Before 2013, he worked in banking as a financial analyst. He previously spent six years on the board of Reprieve, the human rights charity.

Vita Sanderson

Vita Sanderson - elected 2019

Vita is a structural engineer and consultant for the global engineering firm Arup where she advises on the design and implementation of large construction projects for development banks and NGOs, and has worked in countries including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Ukraine and Malawi.

Vita worked in the field as a Logistician and Technical Project Coordinator for MSF throughout 2017 and 2018, the majority of which was spent managing the Agok Hospital Project in South Sudan.

Emma Simpson

Emma Simpson - elected 2016

Emma Simpson is a global public health specialist with 17 years of experience in programme leadership, technical assistance and capacity development, with a special focus on reproductive health. She has a paramedical background and a Master of Science in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 

Emma has successfully coordinated large humanitarian response programmes in Africa and Asia and has provided management, technical assistance and health systems strengthening expertise to public health programmes globally.

She has worked for MSF as a Project Coordinator in Sierra Leone and Myanmar, Marie Stopes International, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, International Planned Parenthood Federation, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. She works as an independent consultant in global public health and is based in London.

Sam Turner

Samuel Turner - elected 2020

Sam is a Senior Humanitarian Policy Adviser with the British Red Cross, which involves working with the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement and external stakeholders to analyse, inform and influence in an effort to have a better impact for crisis-affected populations. In this role he currently focuses upon principled humanitarian action, civil-military relations and the localisation agenda, amongst other thematic areas.

Sam has been working in the humanitarian sector for 10 years and has spent the last eight years in operational positions in emergency contexts for organisations including MSF, Action Against Hunger and Save the Children. Most recently, Sam was the Head of Mission for Libya and Central Mediterranean Search and Rescue between September 2018 and October 2019. He has led a number of recent MSF-OCA emergency responses including the Rohingya refugee response in Bangladesh, South Sudanese refugee response in Uganda, the Burundi refugee response in Tanzania and was the Deputy Head of Mission for Turkey/Syria.

Robert Verrecchia

Robert Verrecchia - elected 2019

Rob is a public health physician based in London. He has worked with MSF in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic and previously worked in the public health systems of the Eastern Cape, South Africa and the UK.

He chairs the medical committee for MSF’s Operational Centre in Amsterdam and prior to joining the MSF UK board, was co-chair of the MSF UK Take Action Group for Migrants and Refugees.

Rob has current roles with Public Health England and the UK Department for International Development and previously worked with Chatham House and University College London.