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American Chosen To Head Interpol

July 3, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A former Clinton administration official was chosen as the next head of Interpol, and if confirmed will be the first American to lead the international police organization.

Interpol’s executive board nominated former Treasury Undersecretary Ronald K. Noble on Friday as secretary general of the 177-member organization. Formal ratification is expected in November, and Noble is scheduled to take over next year.

Last summer’s bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa is a case in point of why the United States needs to participate in international crime fighting, Noble said.

``We’re finding ... our citizens are in need of great police work wherever they might go,″ Noble said in a telephone interview from Lyon, France, where Interpol is based.

Noble, 42, is a former federal prosecutor who now teaches at New York University Law School. As Treasury undersecretary for enforcement from 1993 to 1996, he was in charge of the Secret Service, the Customs Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Interpol, known formally as the International Criminal Police Organization, was founded in 1923 to track fugitives and investigate international crime.

Noble was picked from a field of eight candidates to succeed Raymond E. Kendall of Britain, who has held the post for 14 years.

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