copyright msf caption © Arran Svadjian
Executive director of Doctors Without Borders Canada, Joe Belliveau.
05 Nov 17 05 Jul 18

Executive Director, Doctors Without Borders Canada: Joe Belliveau

Joe Belliveau is the Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada.

He began working on the front lines of the organization’s global medical humanitarian response efforts in a refugee camp in eastern Zambia in 2000. He subsequently managed MSF programs in Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Pakistan and Zimbabwe before overseeing operations at MSF’s HQ in Amsterdam.

Over the course of his career with MSF, Belliveau has grappled with some of the more complex humanitarian challenges of recent times. In Somalia, he helped lead MSF’s programs through periods of extreme insecurity as well as its response to the 2011 famine. In Myanmar, Belliveau oversaw MSF’s introduction of multi-drug resistant treatment for tuberculosis, as well as healthcare provision for the persecuted Rohingya population in Rakhine State. Other examples include his role in MSF’s response to the Pakistan earthquake in 2005; developing large-scale HIV/AIDS programs in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe; mounting a medical program for children poisoned by lead as a result of mining activities in northern Nigeria; and assisting people mentally traumatized by the war in Iraq. 

Belliveau has been a champion of MSF’s advocacy work, speaking out against the policies and actions that cause human suffering and the restrictions that prevent an adequate humanitarian response. Through his years with MSF — and also from his work since 2013 as Program Director with Conflict Dynamics International in Nairobi, Kenya, where he specialized in optimizing humanitarian access to places affected by conflict and violence — Belliveau has developed particular expertise in negotiations, context analysis and security management. He also honed his skills as an educator and public speaker. His writing on related themes (including remote management; technology and access; and negotiations with non-state armed groups) have been published in a variety of journals and media outlets. 

Belliveau has a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Toronto, and was the recipient of the James Orbinski fellowship award. He first worked with MSF Canada in 2001 as a programs officer in the Toronto office. He speaks English and French, and currently studies Spanish. 

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is the world's leading independent international medical relief organization, with medical projects in over 65 countries. MSF doctors, nurses, logisticians, field project managers and many other professionals work together to deliver emergency medical and humanitarian relief in regions affected by epidemics, conflict or natural disasters. MSF is guided by the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, and over 90 per cent of MSF’s fundraising revenue comes from private individual donors from around the world. Together with office and field staff, donors, volunteers, partners and supporters, we create the global movement of Doctors without Borders.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Joe Belliveau, please contact:

Claudia Blume, MSF Canada

(416) 642-3463 | /