The International humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, announced on Monday that Greek surgeon Christos Christou has been elected to serve as their international president.
Christou was elected president during MSF’s International General Assembly in June of 2019, and will begin his tenure in September.
Born in Trikala, a small town in central Greece, Dr. Christou graduated from Aristotle University’s medical school in Thessaloniki, Greece, and has a PhD in Surgery from the Kapodistrian University of Athens. He holds a Masters in International Health – Health Crisis Management from the University of Athens, and is also member of the faculty there.
Dr. Christou later specialized in general and emergency surgery in the Surgical and Transplant Unit of Evangelismos Hospital in Athens. In 2013, he moved to London, working as a Senior Clinical Fellow in Colorectal surgery at King’s College Hospital.
He was chosen as the Consultant in Colorectal and Emergency Surgery at North Middlesex University Hospital and was named a Fellow of the European Board of Surgery in Coloproctology in 2018.
Christou joined MSF in 2002 and has held a number of roles for the nonprofit organization. His first assignment was in Greece, when he served as a field doctor, working with migrants and refugees.
He donated his services again to MSF as part of an HIV/AIDS project in Zambia in 2004 and 2005.
After a break from field missions for a number of years while he trained as a surgeon, in 2013 Christou joined MSF missions in a number of conflict zones, including South Sudan, Iraq and, most recently, Cameroon, working as an Emergency and Trauma surgeon.
Christou served first as General Secretary, then Vice-President, and finally President, of the MSF Greece Board of Directors, beginning in 2005. The selfless surgeon remained in that capacity until his election as International President of the MSF in June of 2019.