LONDON.- The Royal Institute of British Architects
(RIBA) has appointed Harry Rich as its new Chief Executive. He will take up his new post in October 2009.
Harry joins the RIBA from Enterprise Insight which increases levels of entrepreneurship in the UK, where he has been Chief Executive since 2007. Enterprise Insight was set up by the four major business membership bodies and is backed by government. Under Harry's leadership, Enterprise Insight has undergone significant transformation: he restructured the organisation and successfully delivered an ambitious programme of work while improving relationships with partners and stakeholders. Prior to this, Harry was Deputy Chief Executive at the Design Council (1999-2007) playing a central role in programme delivery, strategic planning and leadership, organisational change and corporate governance.
Harry sits on the Press Complaints Commission's Charter Compliance Panel, is a governor of the University for the Creative Arts and an Advisory Council member for the Design Management Institute (USA).
Speaking today, Harry Rich said: "Architecture and architects are central to shaping the world we live in. Whilst our economy and society are under pressure and changing fast the RIBA has an urgent and crucial role to play in explaining the benefits of intelligent investment in the built environment and in supporting its members through challenging times. I can't wait to work with the membership of the RIBA all over the UK and beyond, and with its elected leadership and the RIBA team to communicate the value of architecture and meet the needs of members."
Sunand Prasad, RIBA President and Chair of the selection panel, added: "In Harry Rich we have found a Chief Executive who will build on the achievements of Richard Hastilow's time at the RIBA, while responding with imagination and determination to the changed circumstances in which architecture as much as any profession finds itself. He is an accomplished communicator as well as organiser. He impressed the panel with his understanding of the worlds of design and enterprise as well as his appreciation of the needs of a member led organisation. I look forward to working with him in my year as Immediate Past President."
Harry was born in 1958 in Birmingham. Educated in his home city, Harry completed his LLB Law at Birmingham University and his Solicitors' Finals at the College of Law. He ran a Midlands-based industrial electrical distributor from 1984, successfully growing it through two recessions in the late 80s and early 90s before selling it in 1994.
Harry is a member of the Institute of Directors and the Law Society; and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Harry replaces the outgoing Chief Executive, Richard Hastilow CBE, who will move to an ambassadorial role building working partnerships with sister institutions and industry bodies, and helping develop the RIBA's international engagement and membership until his retirement in May 2010.