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IRF Celebrates Seven Decades of Global Services to the Transport Industry

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia USA, January 10, 2018 – 2018 marks seven decades since the International Road Federation (IRF) was established by two dozen industry leaders in Washington DC to assist Western Europe in the reconstruction of its infrastructure after the second World War. Ever since, IRF has played a leading role in promoting road infrastructure around the world as a means of achieving social and economic progress with a unifying slogan: “Better Roads mean Better Living”.

Over the next decade, IRF developed a network of members around the world, launched major infrastructure programs in Europe, Africa, and Latin America, held the first-ever World Meeting and, in 1954, created a university scholarship program as a 501(c) 3 entity called the International Road Educational Foundation.

The next fifty years confirmed the relevance of these initiatives, as global road investments were increased dramatically and IRF became the predominant membership organization for road professionals, national road associations, transportation institutes, and government agencies worldwide, with member representation in 118 countries worldwide.

More recently, major milestones have included:

  • 2001: Established the Global Road Achievement Awards (GRAA)
  • 2006: Developed first IRF Regional Congress in Latin America
  • 2013: 17th IRF World Meeting & Exhibition in Riyadh attracts delegates from 92 countries
  • 2016: Established the brand “IRF Global”
  • 2017: Launched IRF Global Credentials for Road Safety Audit Professionals
  • 2018: IRF Fellowship Program awards 1,400th University Graduate Scholarship

“The intuition of my predecessors that road investments had to be accompanied with a continuous flow of new ideas and knowledge, to ensure new roads were built to the best and safest standards, was well envisioned”, notes IRF Chairman Abdullah Al-Mogbel. “70 years later this vision remains the driving inspiration behind our cooperative efforts to continue to provide world-class knowledge resources, advocacy services, and continuing education programs to provide a global marketplace of best practices and industry solutions. In the years to come, I fully expect our industry’s challenges to grow in complexity, particularly with the arrival of autonomous vehicles, connected roads, and smart cities. I am confident IRF is perfectly situated to address these questions through its high-quality network of member organizations, industry experts, and knowledge-sharing programs”.

Presenting the 2017 IRF Annual Report, IRF President & CEO C. Patrick Sankey added, “IRF Members can justifiably look back at 2017 as an action-filled year which offered more opportunities than ever before in IRF, and our voice for the roads and mobility community was heard at a time of philosophical transformation in the development of roads and road networks worldwide. From our regional congresses from Indonesia, to Namibia, to Dubai and Colombia, and through our in-country workshops and webinars, IRF’s messages were heard by a combined audience of more than 10,000 decision-makers and industry professionals. In 2018, IRF Global will continue to build on its strong foundation with more than 30 events already planned around the world and countless opportunities to share insights and establish lasting connections”.

The 2017 IRF Annual Report is available for download from:


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