Marc DuBois

Date: 12 Feb 2014

About the talk: For the inaugural speech of the 2014 Speaker Series, the Yale International Alliance and the Yale Club of London co-hosted a special collaborative talk with Marc DuBois, Executive Director of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). He spoke to us about the concrete exigencies surrounding MSF’s current work in conflict zones around the world, as well as the more cerebral but no less challenging questions of aid: how and when it works and its impact on global politics.

Working in crisis, often in areas of conflict, was never easy. It is getting harder. From the risks of kidnapping or being directly targeted as enemies, to increasing administrative blockage by a reassertion of state sovereignty, to the lack of surge capacity and sustained funding for humanitarian operations, to the complexity of new strains of an old scourge like TB, the delivery of aid to those in crisis is becoming ever more difficult. ‘Current Challenges to Humanitarian Action’ highlighted some of these challenges, drawing on both Marc's recent visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo and MSF's experience in hotspots like Syria, South Sudan and Myanmar.

About the speaker: After graduating from Yale, Marc DuBois (SM '81, BA in Philosophy) worked for the Peace Corps, organising chicken-raising projects in rural Burkina Faso (as you do). Upon returning from Burkina, he obtained an MA in development studies from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague and then a law degree from Columbia University in New York, where he concentrated on international human rights.

Following a judicial clerkship, Marc was awarded a prestigious Skadden Arps Public Interest Law Fellowship, enabling him to fight housing discrimination in New Orleans through litigation and advocacy. Joining MSF in 1999, he first worked in the field, and then in Amsterdam HQ, specialising in advocacy issues. Marc took over as Executive Director of MSF-UK six years ago, a post he will be leaving at the end of February.

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