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The coverage over the third (BNP) candidate for the RIBA presidency ( ajplus 15.06.06 and AJ 22.06.06) has unfortunately drowned out any debate between the two frontrunners, Valerie Owen and Sunand Prasad. Yet these are two very different candidates who will bring very distinct qualities to the role of president.

The job of president requires someone who not only has credibility as an architect and the hands-on experience of delivering high-quality projects within an often hostile system, but also someone knows the way the political system works and can speak as a respected equal, on behalf of the institute, to those whose policies and decisions affect all of our lives. The next president will also urgently need to deal with the impact that climate change and resource shortages are going to have on the way we design our buildings and environments.

Having seen both the leading candidates in action, I believe that Sunand Prasad closely matches all of these requirements. He is the winner of many RIBA awards, a founding CABE commissioner and a persuasive advocate for architecture.

Added to that, he is someone who truly understands the global significance of climate change and sustainability. I believe Sunand Prasad will without doubt make an outstanding future president of the institute.

Simon Foxell, London

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