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May 30, 2012

Robert P. Martin Named Senior Policy Advisor at Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and Senior Lecturer at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Robert P. Martin has joined the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) as senior policy advisor and has been appointed a senior lecturer in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

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Martin spent the last seven years of his career working on issues affecting food system policy, including leading a special commission which reported on how industrial food animal production impacts public health, the environment, rural communities and animal welfare.

“The Center for a Livable Future is a unique entity among schools of public health since it is the only academic center devoted to solving the public health and environmental problems created by the dominant industrial food production system in the United States. Looking at these problems as interconnected parts of one system is the only way to effectively address them. It is an honor to be working as part of the Center’s efforts to improve our food system,” Martin said.

As executive director of the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (PCIFAP), Martin managed a comprehensive two-year, $3.6 million study that led to the publication of eight technical reports and a final 122-page report on the public health, environmental, animal welfare and rural community impacts of our conventional methods for producing meat, dairy and eggs.

At PCIFAP, Martin recruited 16 commissioners to study the problems associated with industrial food animal production and recruited and managed staff who were part of the project. He developed the scope of work for the commission, incorporating advice from faculty and staff at the Bloomberg School and The Pew Charitable Trusts, and oversaw all phases of the study plan’s implementation. He also recruited authors and peer reviewers for the commission’s technical reports, and served as the commission’s primary spokesperson with the media and all stakeholders.

Martin joins CLF and the Bloomberg School from the Pew Environment Group, a division of The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C. As a senior officer there, Martin advised issue campaigns aimed at eliminating the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in industrial food animal production and increasing Environmental Protection Agency oversight of industrial food animal production waste.

Before joining Pew, Martin served in management positions in the offices of two U.S. senators and a congressman.  From 1999 through 2005, he served in the office of U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), first as Communications Director, then Deputy Chief of Staff, and lastly as Sen. Johnson’s Special Counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. As Deputy Chief of Staff, he was a member of a senior staff management team that was responsible for the Washington, D.C. Senate office and three state constituent service offices.

In 1996 and 1997, Martin served as Senate Press Secretary for Sen. Thomas Daschle (D-SD, retired), where he drafted and implemented the senator’s long-term media strategy. Earlier, he had been Daschle’s campaign secretary during his 1978 run for Congress.

From 1985 to 1988, he served as Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Dan Glickman (D-KS), and developed the congressman’s media strategy. While in this post, he also initiated and produced a monthly public service cable television program called Window on Washington. He managed Glickman’s successful run for re-election in 1986.

From 1979 to 1985, Martin worked for the nonprofit Kansas Farmers Union as Director of Communications and Office Manager. He managed the daily operations of the organization’s state headquarters and was in charge of all media relations. He also represented the union’s membership before the Kansas Legislature and the U.S. Congress.

“I have long admired Bob’s understanding of the agricultural policy arena, especially at the federal level, and his knowledge of the key players,” said CLF Director Robert Lawrence, MD. “His background with the Kansas Farmers Union and his years of experience as a legislative aide bring an important new dimension to the policy and advocacy work at CLF.”

At CLF, Martin will focus on leading the development of new food system-focused policy initiatives and providing strategic guidance to CLF’s program staff in planning and implementing these initiatives. He will also serve as a key liaison for CLF with other organizations focused on food system issues.  

With his knowledge of the political landscape, Martin will help strengthen CLF’s capacity to communicate with key national and state decision makers in the food system as CLF continues its mission to “promote policies that protect health, the global environment and the ability to sustain life for future generations.”

Media contact: Tim Parsons, director of Public Affairs, at 410-955-7619 or tmparson@jhsph.edu.