In this interview, Nicolas Dupont describes his role in overseeing Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) procurement of medical and logistical supplies during its emergency response to the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa. He talks about how his department conducted quality assurance and product validation for supplies, while adhering to technical standards. He addresses how MSF’s procurement operations and supply chain adapted to the evolving nature of the outbreak. He describes the role of institutional donor funding on MSF’s external humanitarian partners during the outbreak and its effect on an organization’s spending capacity during a crisis. He explains MSF’s role in collaborating with its partners and the need to prioritize external customers amidst an emergency response. He notes the importance of creating centralized commercial and replenishment points during an emergency response and the benefit of facilitating strong cooperation between procurement departments and field operations. Finally, he reflects on the most difficult logistical issues he encountered and the need to avoid market bottlenecks in future emergency responses.
At the time of this interview, Mr. Nicolas Dupont was the Director of Procurement and former Interim Emergency Coordinator for the 2014 Ebola Outbreak at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). He helped oversee the procurement of medical and logistical supplies during the Ebola epidemic and coordinate the emergency response with external partners. Prior to serving in these positions, he graduated from the ISC Paris Business School with a master’s degree in General Business Management. He worked as Change Management Stream Leader at Deloitte Consulting before joining MSF as a Management and Budget Controller.