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Ben Derbyshire wins RIBA presidential election

Ben Derbyshire

Ben Derbyshire is set to become the next president of the RIBA after defeating rivals Alan Jones and Andrew Salter

The architect and partner at HTA Architects will take over from Jane Duncan on 1 September 2017 after receiving 53.8 per cent of the vote. 

Turnout in the biennial election was down on last year, with just 15.2 per cent of RIBA members voting. When current president Jane Duncan was elected just 16.7 per cent of members turned out to vote causing many to blame the institute for its ‘lack of engagement’. 

Derbyshire, who had stood for election with the promise of ‘putting architects back at the heart of the RIBA’, will be the 76th president of the institute and will follow in the footsteps of celebrated architects including Giles Gilbert Scott and Basil Spence. 

Commenting on his win Derbyshire, said: ‘Once again we find ourselves in turbulent times. In winning this election I am conscious of a great sense of responsibility owed to architects everywhere, in all corners of the UK and overseas. 

‘Jane Duncan has laid the foundations for change at the RIBA that I look forward to driving forward, when I take up the role of president. My primary goal is to champion architects so that they, our sister professions and clients, can advance architecture as the cornerstone of the well-designed and more sustainable built environment society desperately needs. All architects, wherever and however we practice, need an RIBA that works for us.’ 

Current RIBA president Jane Duncan, commented: ‘Congratulations to Ben Derbyshire on his successful election and to Alan Jones and Andrew Salter for putting themselves forward for this fantastic role. During the next year of my presidency, I will be playing my part in implementing the RIBA’s new five-year strategy which distilled the collective views of our membership. I look forward to passing this important baton on to Ben Derbyshire and ensuring that our profession has a strong voice and all our members, wherever they are, have the skills and support they need to thrive.’

Derbyshire will spend two years in the role.

Previous turnouts 

2014 Jane Duncan 16.7%

2012 Stephen Hodder N/A

2010 Angela Brady 18%

2008 Ruth Reed 18%

2006 Sunand Prasad 27%

Election results in full

National council members

  • Geoffrey Alsop
  • Caroline Buckingham
  • John Cole
  • Richard Murphy
  • Elena Tsolakis
  • Christopher Williamson

Regional council members

  • Carolyn Merrifield, RSAW
  • Ralph Carpenter, East
  • Roger Shrimplin, East
  • Saul Golden, Ulster
  • Jennifer Forakis, South
  • Phillip Waddy, South
  • Julia McLoughlin, South East
  • Fraser Middleton, RIAS

Student member

  • Simeon Shtebunaev 

Readers' comments (1)

  • Congratulations to Ben - he is the right person for the role at this time, given his strategy and distance from the institutional setup.
    I am sure he will be as disappointed ad anyone at the level of voter apathy. I think this goes to the heart of the communications problem that RIBA clearly has with its membership. The numbers shown were clearly seeking to demonstrate the precipitous decline in engagement in the last ten years. As Ben says, architects feel abandoned by the very institute that should be there to champion them.
    One final note: The biggest drop occurred between Sunand Prasad and Ruth Reed's tenure. I'd love to know what caused this. Since then it has been a slower decline, but still relentlessly downward.

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