Joanne Liu

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Joanne Liu
Traditional Chinese 廖滿嫦

Dr. Joanne Liu (Chinese: 廖滿嫦) is the current International President of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders. She was elected President during MSF's International General Assembly in June 2013.

Early life[edit]

Joanne Liu was born in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, to a Chinese immigrant family from Taishan, Guangdong. Her family ran a Chinese restaurant. When she was 13, she became fascinated by "Et la Paix dans le monde docteur", a book about the experiences of a physician working with Doctors Without Borders during the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. She dreamt of herself becoming "a doctor without borders" one day.[1]

Education and Training[edit]

During junior college, she travelled to Mali with Canadian Crossroads International.[2] Dr. Liu graduated from the McGill University Faculty of Medicine and completed pediatric specialty training at the Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine. She then completed a sub-specialty in pediatric emergency care at Bellevue Hospital Center of the New York University School of Medicine and an International Master in Health Leadership degree at McGill University Desautels Faculty of Management.


Liu started her career with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF for short), in 1996 when she worked with Malian refugees in Mauritania. Since then she has provided support through the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, assisted in controlling a cholera epidemic in Haiti, helped Somali refugees in Kenya, and has offered medical assistance in many conflict zones including Palestine, Central African Republic and Sudan's Darfur region. She has also helped to develop one of the first programs to offer comprehensive medical care for survivors of sexual violence in the Republic of the Congo.[3]

From 1999 to 2002 Liu was a programs manager at the Paris office of MSF. She then went on to work as the president of the board of directors of MSF in Canada between 2004 and 2009. She has helped to create and currently co-manages the organization's telemedicine project, which connects MSF physicians in 150 remote sites with a platform of over 300 medical specialists across the globe. By communicating through the specialist network, MSF field doctors can receive critical diagnoses and treatment recommendations for their patients within hours.

In addition to her humanitarian commitments, Liu is a full-time Pediatric Emergency Physician at Ste-Justine Hospital in Montreal and at the Health Travel Clinic of the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal. She is also an associate professor at the Université de Montréal.[4]


  1. ^ Biography
  2. ^ Dr. Joanne Liu Elected President of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International McGill University: 10 July 2013
  3. ^ Dr Joanne LIU new International President of MSF 10 October 2013
  4. ^ Joanne Liu: doctor without borders Université de Montréal: 4 September 2013