RICS London

Jonathan joined the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) at the age of 17 and rose through the ranks to become its President in 2000/2001. Over the years he has played an important role in shaping the work and structure of the organisation.


Jonathan’s work with the RICS has included expanding its offering both nationally and internationally. He led the RICS team that successfully absorbed into the Institution the Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers.

When Vice-President he sat as a member of the Bank of England Property forum; was a member of the Technical Advisory Group – modernising stamp duty – Inland Revenue; and was a member of the profession’s working group that was part of the Council for Excellence in Management and Leadership.

Whilst Vice-President he was a member of the Agenda for Change leadership team. He was the author of two strategic policy documents – The Future Role of the RICS (The Harris Report) and Victorian to Virtual. These papers were the catalyst for refocussing the RICS from a predominantly UK only professional body into a global player. During his presidential year he founded RICS China and RICS USA.

The Harris Debate

The annual CPD Foundation Harris Debate was established by RICS to recognise Jonathan’s unique contribution to CPD, further education and lifelong learning. It ran between 2013 and 2020, when it was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Each subject revolved around the theme of “Ethics” and the debates were all chaired by Lord Bichard of Nailsworth KCB.

Previous Harris Debates:

10th December 2020  Professionalism and Ethics in the Built Environment

Speakers & Panellists:

Sophie Chick
Director, World Research, Savills

Vicky Pryce
Chief Economics Adviser, Centre of Economics and Business Research

Kerry Gibbs
Partner, Gardiner & Theobald

Christine O’Rourke
Head of Conduct Standards, RICS

Jonny Anstead
Director, TOWN

30th October 2019  Climate Change: Your Impact, Your Responsibilities

Speakers & Panellists:

Alistair Mant
UK Green Building Council (UKGBC)

Dr Eva Gkenakou
Multiplex Construction Europe

Professor Chris Rapley CBE
Climate science expert

Jorge Mendonça 
Grosvenor Developments

14th November 2018  What future for professions in a world of algorithms?

Speakers & Panellists:

Professor Richard Susskind
Author, Speaker and Independent Adviser

David Wood
Independent Futurist, Consultant and Writer

Katie King
International Trainer, Author and Keynote Speaker

14th November 2017 – Which Public, Whose Advantage?


Kenan Malik
Lecturer and Broadcaster

Phillip Blond
Director, ResPublica

Francesca Berriman MBE
CEO, Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists

16th November 2016 – Ethics, Competition and Growth: Where Are We Now?


Philippa Foster Back OBE
Director, Institute of Business Ethics

Tatiana Bosteels
Director Responsibility and Head of Responsible Investment, Hermes Investment

Peter Bolton King
Global Property Standards, RICS

16th November 2015 – Ethics and the Public Interest: Who, Why and How


Chris Yapp
International Futures Forum

Antony Townsend
Chair of the UK and Ireland Regulatory Board of RICS

19th November 2014 – “Trust Me I’m a Professional”: Recovering Integrity, Regaining Trust


Steve Kenzie
Director, UN Global Compact UK

Michael J Hershman
President and CEO, Fairfax Group

14th November 2013 – Ethics: Lost in Translation?


Philippa Foster Back OBE
Director, Institute of Business Ethics

Ken Creighton
Director of Professional Standards, RICS

Robert Barrington
Executive Director, Transparency International UK

Watch the Harris Debates

Look back through some of the previous Harris Debates via this YouTube playlist