"The humanitarian act is apolitical, but if its actions and its morality are taken seriously, it has the most profound of political implications." –James Orbinski

About me

Reaching my 20th year of working in the humanitarian sector, I look back at a rewarding parcourse. Starting as a mental health officer with MSF in Indonesia and Haiti, I quickly found my real drive as programme manager first and later as head of mission in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I realized that I’m a generalist. I like to bring teams together, elaborate on strategies, explore operational opportunities, and manage risks and security. In that sense, my interest in data-informed security management led me to start INSO’s Syria project. I was with INSO for a year, till a position as operational manager with MSF Operational Centre Amsterdam brought me to the Netherlands in 2014. For 5 years I oversaw MSF-OCA’s work in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Iraq, Jordan and Malaysia.

Of the different countries I worked in, Afghanistan will remain closest to me. Not only because of the work I could facilitate, or the people met, but also because I felt that in that setting of armed conflict the role of humanitarian organisations was most clear to me. Whilst trying to save who we can, we should highlight the failings of the system in which we work. In that sense, I believe that working within an NGO automatically means you also focus on lobby and advocacy. In a way, in my current position as head of Programmes and Advocacy with Stichting Vluchteling (Refugee Foundation) which I took up in 2021, I have found a very nice way to merge my interests in both management and advocacy. Next to that, I’m active as a board member of MSF-Belgium, where we often debate questions of identity.


Buth, P., De Gryse, B., Healy, S., Hoedt, V., Newell, T., Pintaldi, G., del Valle, H., Sheather J.C., and Wong, S (2018), ‘He who helps the guilty, shares the crime’? INGOs, moral narcissism and complicity in wrongdoing’, Journal of Medical Ethics, Volume 44, Issue 5.

Carthaigh, N., De Gryse, B., Van Overloop. C., Fricke, R., Pineda, S., Decroo, T., Bseiso, J., Baker,C. and Philips, M. (2014). ‘Between Rhetoric and Reality – The On-going Struggle to Access Health Care in Afghanistan’, MSF.

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