Globaldev careers: The emergency response team lead

Community volunteers help Medair unload hygiene kits from a helicopter in Raya village, Honduras. Photo by: Paola Barioli / Medair

From Medair’s headquarters in Switzerland, James McDowell, head of the global emergency response team, supports colleagues all over the world who are responding to natural disasters, displacement crises, or disease outbreaks.

On the ground, these teams can face visa or access issues, government bureaucracy, and insecurity. They are also working with traumatized populations and sometimes seeing needs to which they don’t have the funding or expertise to respond. It’s challenging but meaningful work, McDowell said, and rewarding to be part of a team effort that helps people when they need it most.

About the author

  • Emma Smith

    Emma Smith is a Reporter at Devex. She covers all things related to careers and hiring in the global development community as well as mental health within the sector — from tips on supporting humanitarian staff to designing mental health programs for refugees. Emma has reported from key development hubs in Europe and co-produced Devex’s DevProWomen2030 podcast series. She holds a degree in journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University and a master's in media and international conflict. In addition to writing for regional news publications, she has worked with organizations focused on child and women’s rights.