Ronald Noble

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Ronald Noble
Secretary General of Interpol
In office
3 November 2000 – 7 November 2014
PresidentJesús Espigares Mira
Jackie Selebi
Arturo Herrera Verdugo (Acting)
Khoo Boon Hui
Mireille Ballestrazzi
Preceded byRaymond Kendall
Succeeded byJürgen Stock
Personal details
Ronald Kenneth Noble

(1956-09-24) September 24, 1956 (age 67)
Fort Dix, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of New Hampshire, Durham (BA)
Stanford University (JD)
Order of St. Gregory the Great
Chevalier of the Legion of Honour

Ronald Kenneth "Ron" Noble (born September 24, 1956)[citation needed] is an American law enforcement officer who served as the secretary-general of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) from 2000 to 2014. He was the organization's first American and youngest secretary-general at the time of his appointment. Noble previously worked as a public servant in various U.S. government agencies, including the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Department of Justice and the Treasury.

Life and career[edit]

Early life and education[edit]

Noble was born in Fort Dix, a United States Army post south-east of Trenton, New Jersey, to an African-American father and a German mother. He was raised in nearby Jobstown, where his father worked as a janitor after serving as a master sergeant in the army.[1][2] Noble attended Northern Burlington County Regional High School before graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in economics and business administration.[3][4][5] He later attended Stanford Law School, serving as an editor on the Stanford Law Review and graduating cum laude in 1982.[4][2]

Beginnings and public service[edit]

Noble began his career as a law clerk for A. Leon Higginbotham Jr., a judge at the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, who persuaded him to enter public service.[1] In 1984, he became an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania under Edward S. G. Dennis, where he prosecuted several high-profile drug and corruption cases in Philadelphia.[3][6] He then moved to the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. in 1988 to work as a deputy assistant Attorney General and chief of staff for Dennis, who had been appointed the assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.[7][8]

In 1993, Noble was appointed the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement, being placed in charge of the Secret Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), the Customs Service Office of Enforcement, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.[4][9] 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.[10]

In 1994, following a plane crash on the south lawn of the White House carried out by Frank Eugene Corder, Secretary of the Treasury Lloyd Bentsen directed Under Secretary Noble and Secret Service director Eljay B. Bowron to conduct an investigation into the circumstances leading to the crash.[11][12] In 1995, a public report of the White House Security Review was published; President Bill Clinton accepted all of its recommendations and announced the closure of the portion of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House on May 21, 1995, restricting movement to pedestrian traffic to eliminate the threat of car bomb or truck bomb attacks.[13][12]

In 1996, Noble returned to New York University School of Law to continue working as a tenured professor.[6] In 1998, he participated as a witness for the defense during the trial for the impeachment of Clinton.[14]


Noble at the 6th Global Congress about combating piracy and counterfeiting in 2011

In 1998, with the support of Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI director Louis Freeh, Noble applied to become the secretary-general of Interpol and succeed incumbent Raymond Kendall.[3] On November 3, 2000, at the age of 44, Noble was elected to the position, becoming the first non-European, the first non-white person, the first American and the youngest secretary-general in the organization's history.[9] Noble was nominated for the post by the organization's Executive Committee the previous year, and on September 20, 2005, during Interpol's 74th General Assembly in Berlin, he was re-elected for a second five-year term.[15] On November 9, 2010, Noble was re-elected for a third term as secretary-general during the organization's 79th General Assembly in Doha, Qatar.[16] On November 7, 2014, he resigned from the role and was succeeded by Jürgen Stock, who was unanimously elected during Interpol's 83rd General Assembly in Monaco.[17]

Noble's endorsement of the Belarusian state investigation into the April 2011 bomb explosion in the Minsk Metro was questioned in 2012 by BBC journalist John Sweeney. In a May 2011 press conference in Minsk, Noble praised the "high professionalism" of the police, Ministry of Internal Affairs officials, and other government officials for quickly completing the investigation.[18] According to Sweeney, Noble endorsed the CCTV footage used in the investigation, the credibility of which was later questioned.[18] Interpol said the BBC documentary was based on "biased speculation".[19]

In December 2017, an Argentine judge alleged that while at Interpol, Noble along with former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had been involved in a cover-up of Argentina's alleged attempt to cancel INTERPOL Red Notices that had been issued against former Iranian government officials for the July 1994 terrorist attack of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires. The influential NGO Human Rights Watch stated "Relatives of victims of the AMIA terrorist attack deserve justice for this heinous crime ... but, instead of promoting accountability, this far-fetched indictment further tarnishes the credibility of the Argentine judiciary over the AMIA attack investigations.”[20] Noble refuted the claim of cover-up, calling the judge's report "false, misleading and incomplete".[21]

Security consultancy[edit]

After leaving Interpol, Noble founded a multinational security consultancy firm called RKN Global DWC LLC, which is headquartered in Dubai, UAE.[22] In February 2016, the firm announced plans to build a security printing plant in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, a project that would cost 89 million and employ 1,200 people.[23] On June 24, 2016, however, the firm rejected an investment subsidy of €18 million from the Government of Slovakia and withdrew the plans following political opposition to the project in the country and uncertainty created by the UK's decision to leave the EU.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Noble is married and has one son. As well as English, he speaks French, Spanish and German.[25]


Orders, decorations and medals


  1. ^ a b Jack Nelson (September 12, 1999). "Los Angeles Times Interview : Ronald Noble : The New Man From Interpol Brings a '90s Touch to Global Crime Fighting". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Joyce Wadler (July 13, 1999). "PUBLIC LIVES; The Long Days of Interpol's New Top Sleuth". The New York Times. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Thomas Ginsberg (July 3, 1999). "Ex-u.s. Attorney In Phila. Will Head Interpol In The '80s, Ronald Noble Handled Several High-profile Cases. He Is The First American Named To Lead The Agency". Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Charlene J. Fletcher-Brown; Independent Historian (July 30, 2014). "Noble, Ronald (1956–)". Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  5. ^ "Secretary General of INTERPOL, Ron Noble Gave Keynote At UNH Law Conference Feb. 19". University of New Hampshire. February 9, 2014. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Chuck Salter (September 30, 2002). "Terrorists Strike Fast... Interpol has to Move Faster... Ron Noble is on the Case". Fast Company. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  7. ^ "Edward S.G. Dennis". United States Department of Justice. February 3, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  8. ^ "Transcript: Statement of law professor Ronald Noble". CNN. December 9, 1998. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Ronald K. Noble". Interpol. Archived from the original on August 27, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  10. ^ Wikisource: Report of the Department of the Treasury on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms Investigation of Vernon Wayne Howell Also Known as David Koresh September 1993/Memo
  11. ^ "Press Briefing by Ron Noble, Under Secretary of Treasury for Enforcement and Carl Meyer, Special Agent, United States Secret Service". Office of the Press Secretary at the White House. September 12, 1994. Archived from the original on August 29, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. ^ a b "Public Report of the White House Security Review". Federation of American Scientists. Archived from the original on August 13, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  13. ^ "Clinton Tightens White House Security". Orlando Sentinel. May 21, 1995. Archived from the original on July 13, 2019. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  14. ^ John M. Broder (December 8, 1998). "Lawyers, Scholars and Lawmakers Set to Argue Clinton's Case". The New York Times. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  15. ^ "Ronald K. Noble wins second term as INTERPOL Secretary General". Interpol. September 20, 2005. Archived from the original on July 2, 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  16. ^ "Ronald K. Noble appointed for third term as INTERPOL Secretary General". Interpol. November 9, 2010. Archived from the original on July 2, 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  17. ^ "Germany's Jürgen Stock elected new INTERPOL Secretary General". Interpol. November 7, 2014. Archived from the original on July 2, 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  18. ^ a b Sweeney, John (July 30, 2012). "Belarus: Were executed Minsk metro bombers framed?". British Broadcasting Corporation.
  19. ^ Bohdan, Siarhei (August 14, 2012). "Interpol Clashes with BBC over 2011 Minsk Metro Bombing". Belarus Digest. Ostrogorski Centre.
  20. ^ "Human Rights Watch Defends Former Argentine Government Against Charge of Collusion With Iran in AMIA Bombing Cover-Up". Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  21. ^ Politi, Daniel (December 15, 2017). "Former Interpol Chief Says Argentina Bungled Investigation of '94 Attack". The New York Times.
  22. ^ David Kopel (May 17, 2016). "Good guys with guns: Former Interpol chief Ron Noble on the Westgate Mall mass shooting". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  23. ^ "RKN Global to build 89 million euro plant in Slovakia, employ 1,200". Reuters. February 20, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  24. ^ "RKN Global will not build a plant in Slovakia". The Slovak Spectator. June 28, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  25. ^ "The World's Top Cop". UNH Magazine. Winter 2002. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  26. ^ "Head of INTERPOL Ronald Noble '79 is 2012 UNH Commencement Speaker". UNH Today. March 8, 2012. Archived from the original on August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  27. ^ "Mayor Giuliani Accepts the New York University Eugene J. Keogh Distinguished Public Service Award". Press Office of the Mayor of New York City. June 11, 1998. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  28. ^ Brenda Yufeh (November 6, 2009). "Cameroon: INTERPOL Regional Office Inaugurated". Cameroon Tribune. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  29. ^ "2016 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipients". National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations. May 7, 2016. Archived from the original on June 8, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  30. ^ "High Honors for Noble". The Law School: 8. 2008. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  31. ^ "Pakistan honours INTERPOL". Interpol. March 24, 2011. Archived from the original on August 27, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  32. ^ "Human trafficking an open wound on society, Pope Francis tells conference". Interpol. April 10, 2014. Archived from the original on April 24, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  33. ^ "Investiture of Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Distinguished Service Order), on Secretary General of the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL), Mr Ronald Kenneth Noble". Ministry of Home Affairs (Singapore). October 1, 2014. Archived from the original on September 19, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  34. ^ #INTERPOLGA Secretary General Ronald K. Noble Award (in Spanish). Interpol (YouTube). October 17, 2014. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved August 26, 2016.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Secretary General of Interpol
Succeeded by