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Jane Duncan elected as next RIBA president


Jane Duncan will become the third female president of the RIBA after narrowly beating rival Oliver Richards

The Buckinghamshire-based architect, who will take over the two-year presidency from Stephen Hodder on 1 September 2015, received 52 per cent of the vote.

Just 16.7 per cent of members voted in the elections which closed yesterday (23 July). In 2006, when Sunand Prasad was elected to the post, more than a quarter of the RIBA’s membership turned out.

Duncan will be the 75th RIBA President, a position previously held by Giles Gilbert Scott and Basil Spence among others.

Just 16.7 per cent of RIBA members voted

She said: ‘I am delighted to be elected and to have the mandate from RIBA members to undertake my election pledges on improving pride, fees and diversity within the architecture profession.

‘Over the next year I will be working hard to support Hodder and visiting and talking to members and staff across the UK.’

Currently the RIBA’s equality and diversity champion, Duncan stood on a three-point plan focused on ‘pride, profit and people’.

The Bartlett-educated architect, who has run her 16-strong ‘award-winning’ practice in Amersham since 1992, was backed by Denise Scott Brown, the RIBA’s first female president Ruth Reed (2009) and her successor Angela Brady (2011).

Her fellow presidential candidate Richards, founder of London-based ORMS, had pledged to give the institute more of a voice and make the RIBA more outward facing as part of his campaign entitled Putting Architects First.

Speaknig shortly after the announcement, Richards said: ‘Jane has fought a committed campaign and I am sure that she will make an excellent president. I have offered her my congratulations and my full support.

‘Of course it is disappointing to be narrowly beaten by only 172 votes - but I am sure that this election has been good for the RIBA and its members and for architecture. That is what I care about.’

Previous story (AJ 20.05.14)

Jane Duncan: What I’ll do as next RIBA president

In an exclusive interview with the AJ, Jane Duncan talks about tackling the profession’s lack of diversity and what she will offer architects if elected as the next RIBA president

Buckinghamshire-based architect Duncan, who is the current RIBA equality and diversity champion, has unveiled a three-point plan which focuses on ‘pride, profit and people’.

She has said she will better communicate the value of the RIBA to its members, address the pay disparity between men and women, and promote the leadership of architects in the construction industry.

Voting is set to take place between the 17 June and 23 July.


Readers' comments (5)

  • Darren Jones

    52% of the votes on a 16.7% turn out means only 8.7% of RIBA members actually voted for the new president - not sure what kind of mandate that really is...

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  • Ross Thornhill

    52% of the votes on a 16.7% turn out means only 8.7% of RIBA members actually voted for the new president - not sure what kind of mandate that really is...

    Sound much like a general election !

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  • Well Darren, It's a full mandate… as you well know.

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  • Lucy Bullivant

    The numbers don't look good. Confidence in leaders/RIBA is at a low, clearly... But as someone in the field who has never met her, and only recently read up on this, I urge you to have a read of her testimonials, and see what you think of what all the people who've collaborated with Jane in some way over the years think how her abilities and character would suit this role: http://www.jane4riba.com

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  • Darren Jones

    I don't doubt that Jane will make an excellent president, but the low level of turn out illustrates the magnitude of the problem facing the RIBA, its president and council members in effectively engaging with its own members, never mind the wider construction industry, government and the public. Hopefully some new faces and fresh thinking can start to turn this around...

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