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Center for a Livable Future


Martin Bloem

Martin joined the Center as Director in December, 2017, relocating to Baltimore from Rome, Italy, where he spent 12 years as a senior nutrition adviser at the United Nations World Food Programme. He is no stranger to Baltimore, having also served during the same 12 years as adjunct associate professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Martin earned his medical degree from the University of Utrecht and his doctorate in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Maastricht. His career includes posts spanning academia, government and nongovernmental organizations in the Netherlands, Thailand, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Singapore and of course, most recently, Italy. He has co-authored and co-edited seven books and more than one hundred peer-reviewed articles.

Throughout his career, Martin’s areas of focus have been nutrition, food security and food access, particularly in developing nations. In addition to his work at organizations such as Helen Keller International in various posts, he has served as an adjunct associate professor in Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

Fueled in part by Bloomberg School espresso, Martin enthusiastically applies his global nutrition and food security lens to the food systems thinking done at the Center. He’s excited to support the CLF tradition of producing important scientific discoveries and taking research a step further, by introducing and positioning scientific discovery within the context of the real world. Martin strongly believes that the science should always be communicated with an eye toward how it will be useful in making our food systems bettersolving global problems, keeping in mind the great variations in real-world eating patterns, cultures, politics and value-chain dynamics.

Martin intends to infuse CLF research with additional real-world perspective in using science to make recommendations. Evidence and social marketing should go hand in hand, he believes, in order to effect positive change. He is eager to share lessons learned with the rest of the world, through scientific publications as well as through a variety of communication channels.

“I’d like to see CLF play a critical role in this emerging, growing platform in the food systems world,” he says.

One of Martin’s talents is the building and strengthening of long-term strategic partnerships and collaboration with external stakeholders, which he has practiced over his career. As CLF's director, he looks forward to exploring innovative collaborations and exploring how new and innovative business models may contribute to food system change.

While at the UN, in addition to serving as a senior nutrition adviser, Martin was involved in HIV/AIDS work in not only nutrition sectors but also health, medicine and business sectors. As WFP’s Global Coordinator for UNAIDS, his work precipitated an inspiring collaboration among varying sectors. The partnerships forged in order to effect real change were not ideological, they were practical, he says, and he intends to bring that practice of making connections to the food systems world. “The food systems world is very different from what we were all doing in HIV/AIDS,” he says, “but I want us to seek out new and beneficial partnerships at CLF.”

“Change will come from a better understanding of where the power is located, and the trends in who holds the power,” he says.

Martin’s surname, Bloem, is pronounced “bloom,” and he follows James D. Yager, PhD, Edyth H. Schoenrich Professor of Preventive Medicine and the former Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who served as CLF’s interim director since September 2016. Naturally, he misses the food in Rome, but he’s discovering all that Baltimore has to offer.

You can connect with Martin on Twitter @mwbloem.



Martin Bloem

Martin W. Bloem, MD, PhD

" I’d like to see CLF play a critical role in this emerging, growing platform in the food systems world."

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