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RIBA Opens Nominations for President, Council

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

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The Royal Institute of British Architects opens its call for nominations today (May 12) for various positions, including the RIBA Presidency.

Incumbent President Alan Jones (whose term officially ends in August 2021) is currently in the midst of some controversy after temporarily standing down earlier this year.

What Happened

In late March, Jones emailed members of RIBA Council that he would be stepping away from his presidential duties because “a matter had arisen” in his personal life. Because RIBA is considered a charity, the Charities Regulator was also informed of “a serious incident” involving the president.

The Times and The Architects’ Journal both reported at the time that Jones was accused of using RIBA funds to further an alleged extramarital affair. The institute has hired external law firm Browne Jacobson to look into the matter.

While RIBA didn’t get into details at the time, staff was told that Jones (who has held the position for seven months after being elected to a two-year term), would not be reachable for the next four to six weeks.

Honorary secretary Kerr Robertson stepped in to oversee presidential duties.

The Charity Commission’s guidance says that “a serious incident” constitutes an adverse event (actual or alleged) that results in or risks significant:

  • harm to a charity’s beneficiaries, staff, volunteers or other who come into contract with the charity through its work;
  • loss of a charity’s money or assets;
  • damage to a charity’s property; or
  • harm to a charity’s work or reputation.

In Jones’ letter to council he said: “I’m grateful for the strong support I have from my wife and family. I need to take some time out from my duties as president and would be grateful if everyone could respect our privacy.

“I appreciate this comes at a time when there are extraordinary demands on everyone and I can only ask that you reinforce your support to our staff and senior officers during this period.”

Robertson commented on Monday on behalf of RIBA, saying: “Alan Jones has brought a matter to our attention which we are investigating. No complaint has been made. It wouldn’t be appropriate for the RIBA to comment further at this stage—we have an obligation to treat such matters fairly and confidentially.”

The incident is now reportedly being investigated by police in Northern Ireland.


RIBA is seeking nominations for a variety of positions including:

  • RIBA Presidency 2021-23;
  • Royal Society of Architects in Wales Presidency 2021-23;
  • National Council Members (two seats);
  • Regional Council Members (13 seats);
  • International Council Members (four seats); and
  • Associate Members (one seat).

The nomination period opens today (May 12) and closes at 5 p.m. on June 16. After that, the timetable is as follows:

  • July 1 – candidates announced;
  • July 14 – elections will open for voting;
  • Aug. 4 – voting closes; and
  • Aug. 11 – results will be announced.

For more details on eligibility, nominations and voting, click here.



Tagged categories: Architects; Asia Pacific; Associations; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Good Technical Practice; Latin America; North America; Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA); Z-Continents

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