From 1981 until 1996 Ivy was a principal at Dean/Dale, Dean & Ivy and a critic for many national publications. In 1996, Ivy became the Editor in Chief of Architectural Record, the world’s most widely read architectural journal.
In 2004, Ivy became Editorial Director of McGraw-Hill Construction Media, which includes GreenSource: The Magazine of Sustainable Design, SNAP, Architectural Record: China, HQ Magazine, ENR, Constructor and Sweets.
Throughout his career Ivy has delivered keynote speeches and moderated discussions at U.S. and international events such as the Library of Congress, the National Building Museum and the Monterey Design Conference. His interviews include an architectural who’s who, from the Aga Khan to Pritzker Prize winners and AIA gold medalists. He has appeared on A & E, The Discovery Channel, CBS’s The Early Show, NPR’s All Things Considered, PBS’s Evening News with Jim Lehrer and BBC World. In 2002, 2004, and 2006 Ivy served as the U.S. Commissioner of the Venice Architecture Biennale.
Since assuming management responsibility at the AIA, Ivy initiated two important investigations into the role of architects in society and the future of architecture practice. In partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, Ivy committed the AIA to a decade-long effort to make design a catalyst for improving public health through research grants, digital programs, and community planning.
Expanding awareness and understanding of architects’ essential role motivated Ivy to launch a comprehensive effort to build a responsive and relevant 21st Century AIA that advances the position of architects and bolsters a national dialogue about the central role architecture plays in our everyday life. A primary goal of this repositioning initiative is to update the role of the AIA in light of the social, economic, and creative challenges facing the profession.
In March 2010, Alpha Rho Chi, the national architecture fraternity, voted unanimously to name Ivy "Master Architect,” a title with which only seven other persons have been so distinguished: Dr. Nathan Clifford Ricker (the first graduate of an American school of architecture), Cass Gilbert, Eliel Saarinen, John Wellborn Root, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Richard Buckminster Fuller, and I.M. Pei. In 2009, Ivy received the Crain Award, the American Business Media’s highest recognition for an individual. Ivy is also a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council. Under Ivy’s editorial leadership, Architectural Record received the National Magazine Award for General Excellence from the American Society of Magazine Editors, 26 Jesse H. Neal Awards, 7 Ozzies: Folio Design Awards and the 2008 MPA Digital Award for Website of the Year: Enthusiast.
His book "Fay Jones: Architect", published in 2001, showcases the work of the American architect who was an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright. The Art Library Society of North America cited Fay Jones: Architect for “the highest standards of scholarship, design, and production.”
Born in Columbus, Mississippi, Ivy currently lives in Washington, D.C. and returns frequently to his hometown. In his current position at the AIA, he is known to make more money than the president of the United States. 
- Zongker, Brett (15 March 2013). "Architects oppose bill to alter DC memorial to Ike". AP.
- "Alpha Rho Chi Architecture Fraternity Names Robert Adams Ivy, FAIA, "Master Architect"".
- Design Futures Council Senior Fellows http://www.di.net/about/senior_fellows/
- Fay Jones.