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March 24, 2023

Executive Compensation at Doctors Without Borders (2021)

by Anne Paddock

Doctors Without Borders (DWB) or Médicins Sans Frontiers in French, is an international humanitarian medical organization – tax-exempt and non-profit – of French origin that provides emergency and medical care around the world.  The US office is one of 24 worldwide offices that is governed by 14 voting members (directors), 13 of whom are independent, of the governing body (board of directors).

So, if you made a donation to the US office of DWB, how was the money used?  The short answer is that 75% of the revenue raised was given via grants to 7 non-profits in Europe that in turn used the funds to provide medical care primarily in Sub-Sahara Africa and the Middle East and Northern Africa.

Based in New York, NY, DWB reported total revenue of $649 million in 2021 with the largest sources of revenue reported to be contributions, gifts, and grants ($623 million including $51 million of non-cash contributions described as publicly traded securities).

Expenses totaled $600 million (92% of revenue) with the three largest expenses reported to be grants ($486 million), office-related expenses ($36 million) and compensation ($34 million).

541 employees received $34 million in compensation, which equates to an average compensation of $64,000.  68 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the most highly compensated reported to be:

  • $240,583:  Avril Benoit, Executive Director
  • $236,351:  Northan Hurtado Herier, Medical Advisor
  • $233,688:  Michael Goldfarb, Director of Communications (thru 10/21)
  • $230,799:  Carrie Teicher, Director of Programs
  • $222,775:  David Epstein, Director of Domestic
  • $198,264:  Rebekah Varela, Deputy Executive Director
  • $197,484:  Kim Goldsmith N’Daiye, Director of Development
  • $179,068:  Suzanne Ceresko, Director of Field HR

The 8 most highly compensated employees received $1.7 million in compensation.

DWB did not pay for first class or charter travel, travel for companions, social or health club dues or initiation fees, or provide gross up payments, tax indemnification or residences for personal use. It appears the US office of DWB’s purpose is to raise funds and make grants to Doctors Without Borders member offices – primarily overseas.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2021), click here.

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