Nitze Senior FellowsSophie Delaunay
T. R. Reid
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
David E. Sanger
Edward P. Jones
Thomas Penfield Jackson
Benjamin L. Cardin
Paul H. Nitze Senior Fellow 2011-12
Sophie Delaunay began working with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in 1993 and has been the executive director of MSF in the United States since January 2009. MSF is an international independent medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural and man-made disasters, and exclusion from health care in more than 60 countries and was awarded the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize.
Delaunay was initially involved with the organization in administrative and finance roles, serving as country administrator first in Thailand and later in Rwanda, as financial controller in Paris, and then as administrative and finance director of Epicentre, MSF’s Paris-based epidemiological research center. She has also worked extensively in program management. From 1998 to 2004, she was head of mission of MSF’s medical programs in China and Korea, and in 2008, she assumed the role of senior program officer of MSF’s US office. Additionally, while serving as a member of the Board of Directors of MSF-France, Delaunay worked as head of the program department of ESTHER, the French government’s implementing agency to combat AIDS in 18 developing countries. She holds a master’s degree in International Business from the University of Le Havre in France and a master’s degree in Political Science from Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. She has contributed to multiple publications, including a book about North Korean asylum seekers, and she recently conducted evaluations of MSF programs in Liberia and Darfur.
Here are the three talks Ms. Delaunay will give on her visits to St. Mary’s as the 2011-2012 Paul H. Nitze Senior Fellow. The talks will take place in the Auerbach Auditorium of St. Mary’s Hall, and each will be followed by a reception open to all.
Humanitarian Action and the Politics of Compromise (Tuesday, October 18, 8:00 p.m.): This talk will describe the notion of humanitarian space as a “negotiating space” where compromise is not only inevitable but necessary. To understand the difficulties of humanitarian organizations’ contemporary working situation, we need to look at how their ambitions have developed, and an important question that needs to be addressed is whether it is getting more difficult to reach acceptable compromises – and who decides what is an acceptable compromise – in some of today’s humanitarian contexts. Based on a research work done by an MSF team, the presentation will include critical reflections following MSF’s recent medical humanitarian responses in Sri Lanka, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Haiti and elsewhere, exploring the purposes of negotiations, the levels of justification MSF uses for its political choices, as well as how the landscape has changed from the Cold War to the Global War on Terror.
Medical Innovations in Humanitarian Situations (Wednesday, February 8 at 8:00 p.m.): Since its founding 40 years ago, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has struggled to improve the medical care it delivers in war-torn or resource-poor contexts. This talk will review how the particular style of humanitarian action practiced by MSF has tried to stay in line with the standards in scientifically advanced countries and has also led to significant improvements in the medical care delivered to people in crisis. Through a series of case studies, Executive Director Delaunay will reflect on how aid workers dealt with the incongruity of practicing conventional evidence-based medicine in contexts that require unconventional approaches.
Adapting to Recent Developments in Global Health (Wednesday, April 11 at 8:00 p.m.): The last 15 years have been the scene of profound changes in the field of global health. The health debate shifted from national agendas to international ones. Numerous factors contributed to this transformation, among them the devastating HIV/AIDS epidemic, the growing mobilization of civil society, and the perceived transnational threats related to pandemics or bioterrorism in an environment where goods and people circulate more easily. These combined factors have contributed to changing global health issues into major political challenges and have led to a series of significant political commitments and alliances (Millennium Development Goals, The Global Fund, etc.) as well as a massive increase in the financial resources devoted to global health. But has this translated into major health improvements in countries in need? And what are the new challenges that this new global health architecture has created and needs to overcome. As one of the few independent medical actors working at field level and involved in this global arena, Ms. Delaunay will provide its understanding of the key health challenges as well as its perspective on the most relevant responses.