Loyola University Chicago


John Lawrence, MD

Stritch School of Medicine

John Lawrence, MD

President of the U.S. Board of Directors, Doctors without Borders–USA

John Lawrence, MD, a native of Illinois, has served since June 2016 as president of the board of directors of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières USA (MSF-USA).

Dr. Lawrence attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and earned his MD from Dartmouth Medical School. As an undergraduate, he embraced his call to serve people in need by working at a job corps center in Montana, teaching English at a prison in Vermont, and counseling patients at a methadone clinic in New Jersey.

After his first year of medical school, he reached out to other schools around the globe in the hope of gaining some international experience. Eventually, he was invited to do a rotation at the University of Witswaterand in Johannesburg, South Africa. There he worked alongside fourth-year medical students on clinical services. During his own fourth year of medical school, he returned to South Africa, spending five months working at Baragwanath Hospital in the township of Soweto just outside of Johannesburg.

After graduating from medical school, Dr. Lawrence completed a family practice internship in Rockford, Illinois, and then worked as a general medical officer in Tuba City, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. He subsequently returned to residency and completed training in general surgery at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, and pediatric surgery at St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia.

For the past 20 years, he has been a practicing pediatric surgeon, primarily in academic settings, and is currently a part-time staff pediatric surgeon at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. Owing in part to a longstanding interest in global health, Dr. Lawrence has completed nine surgical missions with MSF since 2009 and has served as a surgeon in the Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Haiti, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Liberia. He also served in Syria during the country’s civil war, crossing into dangerous territory to provide much-needed medical aid.

Dr. Lawrence is currently working toward a Master of Public Health degree through the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.