22 Sep 16 25 Jul 18

Our Director

Sam has been with MSF since 2009 and has worked in around 14 different projects worldwide, ranging from HIV in China to drug-resistant Tuberculosis in Armenia. Before joining the team in Dublin in 2016, Sam spent two years as the international senior communications coordinator as part of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s response to the Syria Crisis. He has also spent time in Nepal as part of MSF’s earthquake response and in Guinea as part of the Ebola response. Prior to his role on the Syria crisis team, Sam worked for five years for MSF Japan, starting as an operational communications advisor and ending as director of communications.

Why MSF?

Working for MSF has always been a privilege. Seeing the work our dedicated teams do to assist those in dire need is something that remains truly inspiring and motivating. 

I first came across MSF in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia, where I had been sent by my news agency to cover the disaster. MSF had always been on my radar, as it has a particularly strong reputation among journalists because of its history (founded by doctors and journalists) as well as its 'témoignage' work.

MSF was responding to the aftermath of the tsunami in a very professional and effective way, and I also remember meeting teams on the ground who were making some very principled decisions around fundraising and operations due to the overwhelming response to the disaster from the public. It impressed me at the time.

Also in Nepal, where I had worked, I very clearly remember meeting some of the staff who had just trekked back several days after working in field hospitals in remote areas close to frontlines of a conflict between the state and rebel forces. In the areas they were working in, no other medical care was available. I was deeply impressed by the perseverance and tenacity of the teams to reach people who were completely cut-off and this again made me think seriously about how I could contribute to the work of MSF.

Having started at MSF, working on the Syria crisis was one of the most challenging times of my career to date, but also the most rewarding. Spending time in projects that support our Syria response: in places like Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq - and talking to the dedicated staff was fascinating and inspiring. The innovation and constant hard graft that the teams employ in trying to reach patients, in what is such a complex context, is truly impressive and it is a privilege to be part of MSF. 

What is your vision for MSF Ireland?

Ireland has a long and proud history of compassion, charity and helping people overseas.

The very generous support we receive from Irish donors is something we value extremely highly and plan to build and grow. Support from individual donors is absolutely key in allowing us to operate independently in areas where we are needed most. 

Similarly, developing partnerships with innovative companies here in Ireland for the benefit of our field teams and patients, is a way of further connecting Irish expertise to our work overseas.

The Irish staff we recruit here and send to our projects are consistently given very good feedback about their work, and highly rated as key, hard-working and dedicated team players. 

I know that we can further contribute to MSF’s work by sending more people from here to do what is often extremely difficult, but at the same time extremely rewarding, work in the hundreds of projects MSF has in countries around the world. 

Our office has already sent more than 150 Irish field staff to respond to multiple large-scale crises and to give healthcare to people who need it most. I want to build on this success and help even more people worldwide benefit from the talent and professionalism of our Irish field staff. 

MSF Ireland, our supporters here and the staff that we send out to the field all contribute to our work responding to multiple on-going crises and our medical mission in over 70 countries around the world.