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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA)


The ILEA program is an interagency effort to combat international crime through training and capacity building for foreign criminal justice personnel. Crime knows no borders and the ILEAs not only expand the skills of participants but also foster regional partnerships that are essential to addressing transnational criminal activity. As of 2013, there are five ILEAs in:

  • Budapest, Hungary, serving Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia;
  • Bangkok, Thailand, serving Southeast Asia and China;
  • Gaborone, Botswana, serving the countries south of the Sahel and parts of West Africa;
  • San Salvador, serving Central/ South America and the Caribbean, and a regional training center in Lima for the Andean and Southern Cone regions; and
  • Roswell, New Mexico, serving all the countries attending the regional ILEAs.

More than 50,000 participants from over 80 countries have graduated since the program’s inception in 1995. The ILEA program trains approximately 4,500 students annually. All ILEA participants must be vetted for human rights abuses (“Leahy vetting”) before attending.

The regional ILEAs offer a six-week Law Enforcement and Leadership Development (LELD) course as well as one or two week specialized courses tailored to the needs of the region. The overseas ILEAs utilize instructors from U.S. government law enforcement agencies, who cover topics that include leadership/management, investigations, counterterrorism, counternarcotics, corruption, financial crimes, women’s issues, trafficking in persons, wildlife trafficking, and cyber-crime, among others. Roswell offers advanced courses in some of these same topics.

The ILEA Program is governed by the ILEA Policy Board, chaired by the State Department, with senior representatives from the Departments of State, Treasury, Homeland Security, and Justice. The board provides guidance and oversight to meet foreign policy and law enforcement goals. The ILEA Interagency Steering Group, comprised of representatives from agencies of the four Departments, provides functional oversight of the program, which is funded and administered by INL. Each overseas academy is staffed by one U.S. director and one or two U.S. deputies appointed by the ILEA Policy Board, as well as locally employed staff, and host government personnel seconded to the ILEA. ILEA Roswell is administered by contractors under the direct supervision of INL.


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