The Marymount-Medeem Institute was established in January 2011 with the mission of promoting research and practice in ownership-based models of international community development.
Research questions include variations on social business models, scalability of projects, and evaluation of existing projects and pilots, beginning with a land-title program currently underway in Ghana.
Medeem Institute Expands Global Study Opportunities for Students
Medeem, established by Craig DeRoy, former president of First American Corporation and a Palos Verdes resident, was initially developed as his personal commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative. President Clinton challenged world leaders in business, non-governmental organizations and science to come together in collaboration to address the world’s greatest challenges in the areas of global health, poverty, climate change and education.
Medeem’s mission is based on the philosophy of Hernando de Soto, a recognized international economist, who has established that in much of the world, the poor are locked into poverty by virtue of their inability to demonstrate and utilize their rights to land. This historical failing prohibits them from having sufficient security to treat the land as their own, to improve the land, to farm it effectively or use the land as a true asset from which they can build a future life out of poverty for themselves and their families.
Medeem is focused on providing poverty alleviation through the provision of accessible and affordable land rights documentation for the world’s underserved. DeRoy explains this work by saying, “A majority of the population of developing nations lack formal recognition of their land rights, particularly the poor, women, smallholder farmers and other underrepresented groups. These individuals typically lack the knowledge, resources, time and funds required to navigate complicated and costly land registration processes. Medeem targets its services to these vulnerable groups to promote more equitable access to land ownership, which in turn opens the door for their own positive action to improve their lives.”
In 2008 DeRoy began a program in Ghana to formalize the land rights of those who have been marginalized. Today, that effort is sustained by virtue of the creation of a locally owned, staffed and operated entity known as Medeem Ghana, based in the capital city of Accra. This operation will serve as the first location for the Medeem Institute and students of Marymount College to participate in field and service programs.
President of Marymount College Dr. Michael Brophy welcomes the Medeem Institute to the campus as an opportunity for students and faculty to directly study current global challenges and solutions.
“In the same way our college founders, the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, serve the poor and bring education to those who have had to struggle for access, the Medeem Institute will bring needed services to the world’s poor and underserved,” says Dr. Brophy. “Our college recognizes the importance and impact of community action on a local, regional, and international scale, and we seek to infuse those principles across multiple disciplines within our educational offerings. The Medeem Institute brings an important opportunity to forward our unique academic environment and innovative curriculum.”
Marymount College Professor and Chair of the Business and Economics Division, Rexford Draman, Ph.D., will serve as the coordinator of special projects for the Medeem Institute at Marymount College and will focus his work to implement practical community action-based solutions to world problems through curriculum, research, entrepreneurship and international service.
Director: Dr. Ariane Schauer
Provost, Dean of Faculty and Professor of Economics
Institute Advisor: Craig DeRoy
President and CEO, Medeem Foundation
Member, Clinton Global Initiative
Special Projects: Dr. Rex Draman
Chair of the Division of Business and Economics, Professor of Business
Institute Partnership: Dr. Duncan Earle
Professor of Global Studies