"Today’s challenges in MSF are many. With contexts continually evolving, how do we deliver lifesaving medical care to people suffering in conflict situations such as Afghanistan, Somalia, or Syria? How can we keep patients and aid workers as safe as possible? We need to keep our patients’ needs at the core as we face these challenges."


The International President of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) leads the International Board and the International General Assembly, and represents MSF International.

Dr. Joanne Liu has been the International President of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) since October 1, 2013.

Work with MSF

Her time with MSF started in 1996, when she worked with Malian refugees in Mauritania. Since then, she has provided support after the tsunami in Indonesia, assisted people affected by the earthquake and cholera epidemic in Haiti, and worked with Somali refugees in Kenya.

She also helped develop one of the first programs offering comprehensive medical care for survivors of sexual violence in Republic of Congo.

She has worked in many conflict zones, including in Palestine, Central African Republic, and Sudan’s Darfur region.

Work Outside MSF

Born in Quebec City, Canada, Dr. Liu decided to become a pediatrician at an early age.

She trained at McGill University School of Medicine, specializing in pediatrics at Montreal’s Sainte-Justine Hospital.

She has a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine from New York University School of Medicine and an international master's in health leadership from McGill University.

She is an associate professor at the Université de Montréal and has also taught at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Dr. Liu helped create the telemedicine project, which connects MSF physicians in 150 remote sites with a pool of more than 300 medical specialists across the globe.

In 2013, Dr. Liu received the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award.

Past International Presidents of MSF

Jun 2010–Sep 2013 Unni Karunakara
Jan 2007–Jun 2010 Christophe Fournier
Jan 2004–Dec 2006 Rowan Gillies
Nov 2000–Dec 2003 Morten Rostrup
Jun 1998–Nov 2000 James Orbinski
Sep 1997–Jun 1998 Doris Schopper
Jun 1996–Sep 1997 Philippe Biberson
Feb 1995–Jun 1996 Doris Schopper
Feb 1994–Feb 1995 Jacques De Milliano
Aug 1992–Feb 1994 Rony Brauman
Jan 1992–Aug 1992 Reginald Moreels
Feb 1991–Jan 1992 Rony Brauman

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