RICS Governing Council met for the first time under its first continental European president, Martin Brühl of Germany, in London on June 29 and 30, with a focus on strategy, engagement and changing for the future.

The Council includes four new members from the Americas region, each of whom will serve a four-year term:

  • Ann Gray, FRICS, FAIA, principal at GRAY Real Estate Advisors, Los Angeles, chair of the Southern California chapter of RICS, and chair of the RICS Summit of the Americas LA2015;
  • Julian Joseph FRICS, president of Julian Josephs Company, Washington, D.C., and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins, Georgetown and George Mason Universities’ for more than 20 years;
  • Leigh Miller FRICS, partner in Ernst & Young’s New York office, Americas director of their Valuation & Business Modeling Group and a member of their Global VBM Steering Committee;
  • and myself, who joined Governing Council with more than thirty years of experience in the property tax field, currently serving as executive director in national tax for Ernst & Young, Los Angeles, and U.S. country chair for RICS.

During my first meeting, I was very impressed by the level of engagement, the energy and debate, and the dedication of Governing Council members to the organization, and the clear impression that this Council is very focused on RICS as a global organization and its future growth.

The Council has a clear mandate to change its makeup to become both more manageable in size and more diverse. As one indication of the new road we’re taking, we just celebrated the inauguration of RICS’ first continental European president, after completing an excellent year under the guidance of our first woman president, Louise Brooke Smith. The Council is now looking at the process of how we should implement the changes, with a deadline of 2020.

A more modern Governing Council will make us a more nimble organization aimed at both supporting our U.K. members as well as the increasing number of global members RICS is attracting. Overall, after my first Governing Council experience, I must say I’m very impressed by the organization, as well as by how we’re willing to accept the need to change, given how long we’ve been around! In addition, I am encouraged by the meeting and what we’re planning to do in the future and will relay my experience at Governing Council to RICS’ U.S. chapters, since the workings of Council may sometimes seem remote to the rank and file.

Peter Smith, FRICS, U.S. country chair for RICS

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