The Law School Magazine The New York University School of Law

On Leave for a Noble Cause

Professor Ronald Noble has been on leave since 2000 while he serves as secretary general of Interpol, the 181-country international police organization that deals with issues of international terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, illegal immigrants, and cyber crimes. When at the Law School, Noble teaches courses on federal criminal law, gun control and gun rights, money laundering, and evidence. While serving in the Clinton administration as undersecretary of the Treasury for enforcement, he also managed to get back to New York City each week to co-teach a seminar on The Regulation of Weaponry in Democratic Society with Professor James Jacobs. At the Treasury, Noble oversaw such critical crime-fighting agencies as the U.S. Secret Service; U.S. Customs Service; Financial Crimes Enforcement Network; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; and Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. His career in public service has also included a job as an assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia, where he ran the criminal division.

As Interpol’s chief executive officer, Noble is responsible for the day-to-day work of international police cooperation. Recent accomplishments include an investigation to retrieve items stolen from a Baghdad museum during the war in Iraq; a new international notice for warning police, public institutions, and other international organizations about potential threats posed by disguised weapons, parcel bombs, and other dangerous materials; and the launch of a state-of-the-art global communication system called I-24/7, which provides the capacity to instantly reach law enforcement contact points across the globe and permits police to communicate a range of information, including photographs, fingerprints, and eventually video and audio transmissions.

Noble maintains strong ties with the Law School. He was the moderator at the recent antiterrorism conference held in Florence at NYU’s La Pietra campus (please see story on page 57), he gave the Law School’s 2002 commencement speech, and he moderated a panel on post-September 11 national security for the 2003 Reunion.