About Jonathan Harris

Jonathan Harris

Jonathan David Harris CBE FRICS

Jonathan Harris CBE FRICS is a chartered surveyor, a past President of the RICS and founder of the Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning. A businessman and entrepreneur, Jonathan’s career has been enriched by his involvement in a variety of fields. In particular, he has a passion for further education and lifelong learning.

Jonathan’s experience in the commercial property sector spans over sixty years, including being Senior Partner of a highly successful London-based practice and President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in its millennium year. In 2002, Jonathan was awarded a CBE for his services to surveying.

Jonathan is Founder, Chairman and a Trustee of the Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning (originally the Continuing Professional Development Foundation) and he also founded the Institute of Continuing Professional Development. His career has included being a University Governor and a Trustee & Chairman of the Enterprise Education Trust. In 1993, he was awarded an OBE for his services to further education.

Current appointments

Chairman & Trustee, The Harris Foundation for Lifelong Learning

Member of Advisory Council, The London Philharmonic Orchestra

Chairman, Cressida Group of Companies

Patron, Commonwealth Housing Trust

Board Member, European Chapter of the Counselors of Real Estate (CRE)

Previous appointments include:

  • Babraham Bioscience Technologies Limited, Non-Executive Director
  • Bank of England Property Forum, Member
  • Cardinal Group of Companies, Director
  • Carlisle Group, Director
  • Council for Excellent in Management & Leadership (Professions Working Group)
  • Eatonbrook plc, Non-Executive Director/Chairman
  • Employment Resource Centre, Chairman of Trustees
  • Enterprise Education Trust (formerly Understanding Industry, formerly Business Dynamics), Trustee
  • Grendon Trust, Director
  • Kent County Council, Total Place Asset Management Board, Chair
  • Langbourn Income & Growth Property Unit Trust, Board Member
  • Lazard Property Unit Trust, Board Member
  • Manor Lodge School, Trustee
  • Modernising Stamp Duty, Inland Revenue – Member of Technical Advisory Group
  • Pepper Angliss & Yarwood, Senior Partner
  • Plymouth Development Corporation, Non-Executive Board Member
  • Prison Reform Trust, Trustee & Treasurer
  • Property Growth Assurance Company, Director
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), President, 2000/2001
  • Sackville Property Unit Trust, Board Member
  • The London Philharmonic Orchestra Audit Committee, Chairman
  • The London Philharmonic Orchestra, Director & Trustee
  • The University of Westminster, Governor
  • UNECE Real Estate Marketing Group, Member
  • UN Real Estate Advisory Group, Deputy Chairman
  • University of Reading, Visiting Fellow
  • Work-Life Balance Trust, Chairman

Honours and awards

1993 – Appointed an OBE for Services to Further Education

1998 – Awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Westminster, DLitt (Hon)

2002 – Appointed a CBE for Services to Surveying

2004 – Careers Research & Advisory Centre’s 40th Anniversary recognition award to outstanding individuals for contributions in the field of lifelong learning

2009 – Awarded the James Landauer/John White award from the Counselors of Real Estate. Given to individuals in international real estate who excel in their profession.


Rear Admiral Armstrong CBE
was asked by an interested party to write
a letter about Jonathan Harris. Here are his words:

Jonathan Harris left office as the President of the RICS after an unusually stimulating 40 years of non-executive roles with the Institution.

From my personal experience I cannot recommend him too highly as a non-executive director, because the qualities that he would bring to the Board would be very different to those you are likely to find in other applicants you are considering.

What you get is a never-ending stream of stimuli, bright ideas, lateral thinking; leaving no stone unturned in the quest for development, expansion, progress, new ideas; and consistently challenging negative thinking and conventional wisdom. This remarkable tour de force is conducted with immense good humour and charm.

His perspectives from running his own very successful professional partnership, Board membership of a public company, Governorships and Trusteeships of a number of bodies, particularly those in the Further and Higher Education fields, and with a very shrewd financial and commercial brain, mean that he has a remarkable range of experience to complement his natural vitality, restless energy, and consistently lively approach to issues and problem solving.

With him on board, Board meetings would never be dull; there would be originality and flair at every turn; and he would galvanise thinking out of more conventional tramlines into the unexpected. He sets new standards for the art of the possible in driving an organisation or business forward.

I firmly believe that as an energiser and lateral thinker he would contribute enormously to realising the great potential of your company in many spheres.

Rear Admiral Armstrong
Chief Executive of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors


Jonathan is married to Jeniffer (née Fass). They have 4 children – Lynne, Joanne, Katie and Matthew – 10 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.

Jonathan used to play golf – his lowest handicap was 7. Now his main hobby is competitive duplicate bridge. He is also learning to play the piano.

Team Harris Wins Lederer Memorial Trophy 2022

Jonathan and his team were delighted to earn one of the most prestigious prizes in English bridge this year. The Lederer Memorial was first played 1945 as a tribute to Richard Lederer, and over the years the trophy has become a highly sought-after accolade. The 2022 event took place at the RAC, London. It was organised by the London Metropolitan Bridge Association.

Jonathan has supported the London Philharmonic Orchestra for many years – as a Trustee, Director and Chair of its Audit committee – and is now a member of its Advisory Council. It is one of the world’s leading orchestras – resident at the South Bank Centre in London.

Jonathan is a member of Buck’s Club and a Fellow of the RSA, the royal society for arts, manufactures and commerce – FRSA. He is a member of the Royal Thames Yacht Club and the Yacht Club of Monaco. He is also founder member of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors and a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers.