Ronald Noble

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Ronald Noble
Ronald K. Noble.jpg
Secretary-General of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)
Assumed office
President Mireille Balestrazzi
Preceded by Raymond Kendall
Personal details
Born 1956
Fort Dix, New Jersey, U.S.
Alma mater University of New Hampshire
Stanford Law School

Ronald Kenneth Noble (born 1956, at Fort Dix, New Jersey) is an American law enforcement officer, and the current Secretary General of INTERPOL.

Academic career[edit]

He is a 1979 graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a bachelor's degree in economics and business administration in the Whittemore School of Business and Economics and a 1982 graduate of Stanford Law School. Noble also is a tenured professor at the New York University School of Law, on leave of absence while serving at INTERPOL.

Law career[edit]

From 1993 until 1996 he was the Undersecretary for Enforcement of the United States Department of the Treasury, where he was in charge of the United States Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.[1] He was head of the Department's "Waco Administrative Review Team" which produced a report on the ATF's actions against the Branch Davidians leading to the Waco Siege.[2]

He was elected the first American Secretary General by the 69th INTERPOL General Assembly in Rhodes, Greece, in 2000, was unanimously re-elected to a second five-year term by the 74th INTERPOL General Assembly in Berlin, Germany, in 2005 and was unanimously re-elected to a third five-year term by the 79th INTERPOL General Assembly in Doha, Qatar, in 2010. INTERPOL is the largest international police organization serving 188 countries with a current budget of $72.2 million for 2008.[3]

During his September 20, 2005 acceptance speech in Berlin, the re-elected Secretary General stated:

Less than one year after my confirmation, Al Qaeda terrorists used US soil and US targets to murder thousands of U.S. citizens and citizens from more than 70 of our member countries spread around the globe. On September 11, 2001, the entire world’s attention was finally drawn to the importance of the anti-terrorism fight. On that day, we as a world community were put on notice by Al Qaeda that our personal and national security could never again be taken for granted.

It does not matter where you were. It does not matter what you were doing. Each and every one of you can remember where you were when you first learned about or first saw images of the terrorist attacks on New York’s World Trade Center on the 11th of September 2001.

For INTERPOL, the 11th of September was a moment of reckoning. It was the time for us to decide what kind of international police organization we wanted INTERPOL to be.

Although INTERPOL had been created over 80 years ago by police chiefs to provide operational police support internationally, something had happened to INTERPOL over the years. INTERPOL had become so slow, so unresponsive that in many police circles around the world INTERPOL was considered irrelevant to their day-to-day needs.

But, it was on September 11, 2001 that INTERPOL went operational and that we committed ourselves to working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to support our NCBs and police services. And it was on that day that we first began reaching out to you in times of crisis, rather than waiting for you to ask for help. One can say that INTERPOL was reborn on the 11th of September 2001.[4]

Under Secretary General Noble's leadership, INTERPOL developed the world's first global database of stolen or lost travel documents (i.e., passports) from more than 120 countries and the first global police communications system, called I-24/7 as part of its international screening process for terrorists and dangerous criminals.

He supervised the creation of the world's first international automated DNA database and another automated database aimed at fighting the sexual exploitation of children on the Internet.

Belarus metro bombing controversy[edit]

On 11 April 2011, a bomb exploded in the Minsk Metro, killing 15 people. On 13 April, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, dubbed "the last dictator in Europe" by Condoleezza Rice, announced that Dmitry Konovalov, 25, and Vladislav Kovalyov, 25, had been captured by the KGB, confessed and would be executed by firing squad. Noble travelled to Minsk in May 2011 and congratulated the investigators for their "high professionalism" in solving the case in such a short time period, despite their trial not having taken place. Kovalyov's mother, Lyubov Kovalyova, has since been campaigning for their case to be reinvestigated. She claims that the pair were tortured into confessing. BBC journalist John Sweeney has questioned the fairness of the trial and has criticised Noble for endorsing the KGB's investigation, as has co-founder of the Belarus Free Theatre, Natalia Koliada. A spokesperson for Interpol told the BBC: "Ronald K. Noble, Interpol Secretary General concluded that the Belarusian criminal investigation was professionally conducted and that the arrests of Dmitry Konovalov and Vladislav Kovalev solved the case of who was criminally responsible for the bombing. Secretary General Noble stands by that statement today. […] Advancing one-sided false claims about murderous terrorist conduct can only undermine public confidence in the media."


In 2008, he was awarded the Légion d'honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.[5]

Personal information[edit]

Noble speaks French, German, and Spanish, as well as his native English.[citation needed]


Government offices
Preceded by
Raymond Kendall
Secretary-General of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)