Sandi Rhys Jones OBE: Continuing construction collaboration

New CIOB President, Sandi Rhys Jones OBE, calls for greater collaboration, citing climate change and affordable housing as industry challenges

Sandi Rhys Jones OBE, FCIOB has been appointed President of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB). She is the 120th person to hold the position, taking over from Dr Michael Yam, and officially stepped into the role during CIOB’s Members’ forum event in Liverpool on 26th June 2023.

Speaking at the event, Rhys Jones called for collaboration across the construction industry, specifically within the context of education and policy makers. She picked this as the key theme for her presidential year and wants to help improve joined-up thinking in a sector that she says is famously combative, adversarial and prone to working in silos.

Industry challenges: tackling climate change and affordable housing

Sandi Rhys Jones began her career in construction as a journalist, working for a variety of technical organisations before forming her own management and marketing business. She has worked for contractors, consultants, suppliers, representative organisations and government, both in the UK and overseas.

Some of her previous positions include an active role in multiple government industry working groups including Latham, Egan, the Housing Forum and the Movement for Innovation, with expertise in contract and policy drafting, conflict management and leadership development.

Rhys Jones is also an advocate for construction and its contribution to society, ranging from housing, workplaces and infrastructure. She was awarded an OBE in 1998 in particular for her work towards promoting women in construction.

She also has more than two decades of experience in executive and trustee roles and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building, a fellow of the Women’s Engineering Society and trained as a mediator after completing an MSc in Construction law.

Speaking at her appointment at the CIOB’s Members’ Forum, as reported by Construction Management, Rhys Jones spoke about construction’s vital role in addressing contemporary industry challenges, from tackling climate change to providing affordable housing and quality jobs.

She said: “We need to accept the fact that the world can’t achieve net zero without us in the built environment sector. So we’ve got to harness all the skill and ingenuity our sector possesses – plus that which we can learn from other sectors – to change the way we work.  

“Our sector has great examples of collaboration but only in pockets. What we need now is to scale up that collaborative mindset and I look forward to using the platform the CIOB presidency will give me to collaborate with people within our sector and beyond over the next 12 months to help drive real change.”

The Chartered Institute of Building is the world's largest and most influential professional body for construction management and leadership. Its members work across the world in development, conservation and improvement of the build environment, with its qualifications providing assurance to clients.

Caroline Gumble, CEO at CIOB, said on Rhys Jones’ appointment: “I am so pleased to welcome Sandi as our new President. Sandi has an impressive breadth and depth of knowledge of the industry and her understanding of its place in society, which is a vital perspective for a construction professional.

“I know she will make a valuable contribution in our drive to tackle some of the key challenges in this important industry and will offer real leadership on the issues for CIOB and the wider industry.”

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