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International President

The International President of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) leads the International Board and the International General Assembly, and represents MSF International externally.

Elected by the International General Assembly, the International President must have a medical background, and can serve a maximum of two three-year terms. He or she cannot hold an executive position or sit on the board of another MSF association.

At the 2019 International General Assembly, Dr Christos Christou was elected as new International President, taking over from Dr Joanne Liu. 

Dr Christos Christou commenced his role as International President of Médecins Sans Frontières on 1 September 2019. Before this, he held a number of roles in the field with MSF and with the Association in MSF Greece. Dr Christou joined MSF in 2002, where his first assignment was in Greece as a field doctor, working with migrants and refugees, before working as a doctor in an HIV/AIDS project in Zambia in 2004 and 2005. After a break from field missions for a number of years while he trained as a surgeon, from 2013 he joined MSF missions in a number of conflict zones and insecure contexts, including South Sudan, Iraq and, most recently, Cameroon, as an Emergency and Trauma surgeon.

Born in Trikala, a small town in central Greece, Dr Christou graduated from Aristotle University’s medical school in Thessaloniki, Greece, and has a PhD in Surgery from the Kapodestrian University of Athens. He holds a Masters in International Health - Health Crisis Management from the University of Athens and is member of its faculty.

Dr Christou later specialised in general and emergency surgery in the Surgical and Transplant Unit of Evangelismos Hospital in Athens. In 2013 he moved to London, working as a Senior Clinical Fellow in Colorectal surgery at King’s College Hospital, and in 2018 became Consultant of Colorectal and Emergency Surgery at North Middlesex University Hospital. In 2018 he was awarded fellow of the European Board of Surgery in Coloproctology.

Dr Christou was first General Secretary, then Vice-President and finally President of MSF Greece Board of Directors from 2005 until his election as International President in June 2019.


MSF International Presidents

September 2019 - Christos Christou

Oct 2013 - September 2019

Joanne Liu

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