How do teams from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) run emergency medical aid programs in conflict zones like Afghanistan, Syria, Central African Republic, or South Sudan? How do aid workers maintain neutrality and impartiality in contexts of insurgencies? What are the particular challenges faced by humanitarian organizations like MSF during periods of transition – as Afghanistan will likely face in the coming year? And how has MSF expanded its traditional role by addressing medical catastrophes like HIV/AIDS?
Please join us for a discussion about these issues and more at a lunchtime event co-sponsored by the International Development Program at Johns Hopkins’ School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Melissa Thomas, Associate Professor of International Development, will interview Meinie Nicolai, President of MSF in Belgium whose long history practicing medical humanitarian action with MSF gives her a unique perspective on the current challenges aid workers face responding to crises around the world.
This Event is FREE and open to the public.
This lecture is being given in memory of Hélène de Beir.
Meinie Nicolai first worked with MSF in 1992, as a supervising nurse in Liberia. She has since gained a decade of field experience in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia and South Sudan. Meinie returned to the Netherlands to coordinate the national network on sexual and reproductive health and AIDS between 2002 and 2003, but her involvement with MSF continued as she became a board member of the Belgian association. In 2004, Meinie became director of operations in the Brussels office until October 2010 when she was elected president of both MSF Belgium and MSF’s operational directorate in Brussels.
SAIS graduate Hélène de Beir was an aid worker for MSF in various assignments around the world. In June 2004, she was murdered along with four colleagues while in Afghanistan for the second time to run a hospital for tuberculosis patients. To learn more about her life and the continuing efforts in her honor undertaken by the Hélène de Beir Foundation, please visit
When & Where
Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe. For more information, please visit www.doctorswithoutborders.org.