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Global Indirect Categories Leader

Location: Any MSF Office 
Duration: 12 months temporary contract, full-time 
Reporting to: MSF Strategic Procurement Program (MSPP) Manager 
Starting day: 1st of January 2022 
Deadline to apply: 30th of November 2021 

* By default, the successful candidate will be offered a contract in the MSF office of their country of residence at the time of application 


Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural disasters. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of origins, religion, gender or political affiliation. 

MSF consists out of 5 Operation Centres (OCs), 3 European Supply Centres (ESCs) and 22 partner sections (PS). 

MSF International provides coordination, information and support to the MSF Movement, as well as implements international projects and initiatives as requested. MSF International also provides administrative support to the MSF Access Campaign. 


In recent years, there has been a significant development in MSF’s medical and operational activities that has been sustained by an upsurge in MSF’s operational budget and complexity. Every year, approximately half of MSF’s budget is spent in procurement (services and goods). 

In line with the MSF Organizational Supply Strategy’s (OSS), the MSF Strategic Procurement Program (MSPP) has been launched in order to intensify collaboration between the different MSF entities and streamline the existing MSF procurement set up, in order to achieve optimal operational efficiency by avoiding duplication, waste and operational complexity. 

The ultimate goal of the program is to develop and implement a global, common approach to strategic procurement across all entities (OCs, ESCs and PS) at international, regional and national level. 

In this frame, MSF intends to implement a Category Management Structure for selected categories of goods and services. 

On Indirect Spend, 2 Category Buyers have been managing the Travel and ICT Categories and additional categories have already been identified for a Category Management approach and would need to be implemented in the 2 coming years. In parallel, 2 indirect buyers positions have been created to develop best procurement practices in the Partner Sections. 

In this context, a more focused approach in the development of the Category Management Structure for the indirect categories needs to be taken, therefore we are looking for a Global indirect categories leader. 

This position is temporary for the duration of one year in order to confirm the added value of such set up, with possible extension in case it’s successful and the Category Management structure is structurally rolled-out. 


The Global indirect categories leader will: 

  • Report hierarchically to the MSPP manager;  
  • Will manage a team of category buyers and indirect buyers; 
  • Work closely with the ESC buyer team leaders, International pharmacists, international working groups and interacts with medical, operational and supply directors of the OCs and ESCs; 
  • Work with the MSPP program team and managers. 


The objective of the Global indirect categories leader is to ensure the successful implementation of the category management structure and steer at best the Procurement activities for the Indirect Spend, in order to bring the most value for MSF. 

Specific Objectives 

1. Manage a team of Category Buyers and indirect buyers; 
2. Drive Category & Strategic Sourcing Performance; 
3. Further support and develop mutualized activities for indirect spend to ensure the most efficient use of the Procurement resources; 
4. Develop and implement systems & processes to enable efficient and effective management of the direct spend; 
5. Stakeholders Management. 


1. Manage a team of Category Buyers and indirect buyers: 

a) Mentor and coach the team; 
b) Prioritize and assign effective resources to manage properly category strategy, effective negotiations, contract establishment, and supply base management in line with the movement’s priorities; 
c) First level escalation for the buyers. 

2. Drive Category & Strategic Sourcing Performance: 

a) Develop and define KPIs and Targets in line with Operational Priorities; 
b) Monitor the advances against those KPIs for the Indirect Spend; 
c) Ensure the value delivered by strategic sourcing activities is maximized. 

3. Further support and develop mutualized activities for Indirect Spend to ensure the most efficient use of the Procurement resources: 

a) Ensure successful rollout of further indirect categories; 
b) Ensure a smooth and efficient coordination of the indirect procurement activities including global and local resources; 
c) Foster an integrated view of Global, Regional and Local requirements and opportunities. 

4. Develop and implement systems & processes to enable efficient and effective management of the indirect spend: 

a) Lead the supplier performance and risk management frameworks for indirect categories; 
b) Identify the processes, systems and guidelines required to support category buyers‘ job and cooperation with different Stakeholders and participate in their development; 
c) Further refine roles and responsibilities between category buyers, partner section buyers and local HQ buyers to ensure smooth and efficient collaboration. 

5. Stakeholders Management: 

a) Act as Procurement Business Partner for key identified stakeholders, as a way to promote and develop the position of Procurement within the Movement; 
b) Support in establishing the appropriate Decision Channels; 
c) Extend Procurement Coverage by aligning with Stakeholders on new priority areas (Categories & Entities). 

Job requirements 


  1. Bachelor Degree in Business, with ideally a specialization in purchasing or project management, or a combination of relevant education and professional experience. 


  1. 7+ years of experience in Procurement or Supply-related function, of which 5+ years of experience in strategic procurement including supplier management;  
  2. Proven experience with people management;  
  3. Direct work experience in a complex multi-entities’ organization; 
  4. Direct work experience in MSF is an asset; 
  5. Experience in global contracting and negotiations. 

Knowledge and Skills 

  1. Excellent communication skills, assertiveness and negotiation skills;  
  2. Team player with strong customer orientation; 
  3. Ability to work in a cross-cultural and cross-functional environment; 
  4. Drive for change, improvement and innovation; 
  5. Strong organizational skills, ability to handle multiple priorities at one time; 
  6. Excellent analytical skills and strategic thinking; 
  7. Proficiency in standard office tools including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and data management. 


  1. Fluent spoken and written English; 
  2. Good command of French is a strong asset. 

Apply now

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. 

At MSF, we are committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our employees. We welcome applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, nationalities, races, religions, beliefs, ability status, and all other diversity characteristics 


FAQ questions/answers

The length of a first mission is between nine and twelve months for all professions, except anesthetists and surgeons who, due to the intensity of their work, are placed in projects from six weeks to three months.

For our projects in the field, MSF accepts applications from professionals who have already graduate with minimum two years’ experience, after graduation, which are basic criteria for international staff. MSF cannot provide the possibility for internship in the field.

As soon as the application is submitted, MSF is trying to have the first communication as soon as possible, according to the ongoing needs in the per profile. The selection process usually is completed in 4 to 6 weeks.

If the selection is successful, the next step is the special preparation training for new members of MSF. After that the waiting period before the first departure lasts average 4 months. Please note that the absorption of each profile is changing according to the needs in the field.

When working abroad with MSF, you will have to adapt to many changes, including food, accommodation, daily routine, recreation and language. A new lifestyle is awaiting you, where free time and privacy can be in short supply. You may have to share your bedroom and bathroom. You need to be sure that you can do without normal creature comforts before applying to MSF.

MSF projects can take place in locations where the weather conditions are not always mild (extreme heat or cold, high humidity, heavy rainfall or desert climate). You will also be a long way from your friends and family for several months at a time. Communication can be difficult.

Living conditions in the field (security, housing, etc.) often make it difficult for field staff to be accompanied by children or partners who aren't participating in the mission.

We have a very small number of family postings for experienced MSF Country Coordinators for limited periods.