About Us

The International Right of Way Association is a professional member organization comprised of global infrastructure real estate practitioners. Since its inception as a not-for-profit association in 1934, IRWA has served professionals who acquire, manage and transfer the land rights needed for building and maintaining energy and transportation infrastructure.

Recognized for their high ethical standards, commitment to integrity and professional excellence, IRWA’s nearly 10,000 members hail from over 15 countries around the world. They are united by their profession and their commitment to pursuing training and professional development through courses, chapter meetings, seminars and the annual education conference.

History of the IRWA

The International Right of Way Association was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1934 under the name of the Southern California Right of Way Agent’s Association and on August 9, 1946, was incorporated as the American Right of Way Association. Since that time, the Association has expanded into an international professional organization dedicated to the advancement of right-of-way and land acquisition work as a fully recognized profession. On March 15, 1980, the Articles of Incorporation were changed by a vote of the membership to reflect the new name–International Right of Way Association.

Throughout the United States and Canada, billions of dollars are expended annually in the acquisition, management, and transfer of rights-of-way. The technical skills required for proficiency in this complex activity embrace the fields of appraisal, engineering, law negotiation, public relations, property management, and public service administration. It is logical, therefore, that the foundation of the International Right of Way Association is a vigorous, continuing educational program. This program is designed to better equip right-of-way practitioners in the fulfillment of professional obligations to their employers, whether they be the public or the stockholders of private organizations.

Because the Association has expanded into an international association, composed of approximately 75 Chapters, it now plays a stronger and more significant role in the development of the economies of the United States and Canada. This is especially true with respect to the multitude of vital community, regional and national improvements, highways, flood control projects, public utility construction, pipelines, railroads, and all other public and quasi-public development activities.

As the Association expands, so also does its program to unite the professional efforts of all right-of-way professionals toward the betterment of the conditions of the individual. The Association will continue to promote high standards among its members to the end that they render their full potential of service to their employers. To accomplish this, members must predicate their professional aspirations upon the Code of Ethics of the International Right of Way Association.