About Jonathan Harris

Jonathan Harris CBE FRICS is a qualified chartered surveyor and past President of the RICS. 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 fifty 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). 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

Member, UNECE Real Estate Marketing GroupVice-Patron, Commonwealth Housing Trust

Vice Chair of the European Chapter, Counselors of Real Estate, USA (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
  • 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.


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

Jonathan used to play golf – his lowest handicap was 7. Now his main hobby is competitive duplicate bridge.

He 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 Bucks Club and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts – 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.

The Jeniffer and Jonathan Harris Charitable Trust

Jonathan and his wife Jeniffer receive each year a number of requests from friends to support a variety of good and worthy causes.

They formed the Jeniffer and Jonathan Harris Charitable Trust in 1999 to be able to act on these requests more easily and efficiently.

Each year the Trust responds in a small way to about 25 requests. Some 50 or so different charities have received donations as a result.

Compared to bigger players in the charity sector, the Trust’s contributions are modest. However, it all makes a difference. Jonathan and Jeniffer feel that it is important to support the many worthy endeavours of family and friends, even if in a modest way, for the benefit of so many good causes.