"I also just really believe in the job that MSF is doing often in very difficult circumstances. The commitment of the organisation, and the people that work in it, is highly impressive."
After three years in the Emergencies Department at Oxfam, Vickie joined MSF in 1998, working first as a financial coordinator in China and Pakistan. She went on to do successive missions as Project Coordinator and Head of Mission in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe. Vickie became Head of the Programmes Unit at MSF UK in 2005, leaving for the field again in 2011 as Deputy Head of Mission in Myanmar. In May 2014 she started in her current role as Executive Director of MSF UK.
“I studied International Relations at university, and through these studies I knew I wanted to work in the third sector and work towards what could be achieved for neglected people through non-governmental organisations.
“I first worked in the fundraising department at Oxfam and then moved into their emergencies department but knew I wanted to work in the field at this early stage of my career. MSF had stuck in my head from watching news reports of the Rwandan genocide in 1994 and it came across as an organisation that went out there and delivered.
“After a three-month period of field work with Oxfam as an office manager I applied to join MSF as an administrator. I was accepted as a Financial Coordinator and did my first field mission in China. After that, I was interested to know more and went on to my second role working in the Afghanistan mission as a Financial Coordinator.
Vickie speaking to the BBC in the aftermath of the attack on our Kunduz hospital in Afghanistan
"I then moved into programme management, and did successive missions as a Project Coordinator and Head of Mission in a number of countries and occupied the role of Head of Programmes at MSF UK. I have just returned from Myanmar, where I was deputy Head of Mission for two years.
“I have worked for MSF for 16 years but this does not feel like a long time. It has been a challenging journey but most importantly a rewarding one. For me work has never been about the financial rewards (luckily!). It is about job satisfaction in an organisation that presents new challenges to you at every step. I also just really believe in the job that MSF is doing often in very difficult circumstances. The commitment of the organisation, and the people that work in it, is highly impressive.”
- Vickie Hawkins, Executive Director, MSF UK