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Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Fighting Crime and Corruption
International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEA)
Program Overview

Program Overview

The first International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) opened in Budapest in 1995. Additional ILEAs were established in Bangkok in 1999, Gaborone in 2001 and San Salvador in 2005. An academic ILEA was established in Roswell, NM in 2001 and a Regional Training Center conducting primarily specialized programs began operations in Lima in 2005.

Focus, Strategy and Agenda

The mission of the ILEAs is to support emerging democracies, help protect U.S. interests through international cooperation and to promote social, political and economic stability by combating crime. To achieve these goals, ILEA provides high-quality training and technical assistance, supports institution building and enforcement capability and fosters relationships of American law enforcement agencies with their counterparts in each region. The ILEA program also encourages strong partnerships among regional countries, to enable these countries to address common problems associated with criminal activity.

The ILEA concept and philosophy creates a united effort by all of the participants — government agencies and ministries, trainers, managers, and students alike — to achieve the common foreign policy goal of international law enforcement. The ILEAs utilize an ideal blend of professionals to strengthen the rule of law, human dignity, personal safety and global security now and in the future.

The regional ILEAs offer three different fields of programs. The CORE program, specialized training courses, and regional seminars. The CORE program typically includes 50 participants and is focused on improving the investigative and management skills of selected police officials. The specialized courses, comprised of about 30 participants, are normally one or two weeks long and often run simultaneously with the Core course. These courses provide in depth instruction on areas of concern or of urgent need. Topics of the Regional Seminars include transnational crimes, counter-terrorism and financial crimes.

The academic ILEA in Roswell offers an Advanced Management Course (AMC) focused on academic aspects of law enforcement, rather than its practical aspects. Academicians from Sam Houston University and other experts provide instruction. The four-week AMC typically includes 50 participants selected from a pool of graduates from the regional ILEAs.

Organization and Staffing

The highest level of authority for the ILEAs is the ILEA Policy Board. The Departments of State, Justice and Treasury established the ILEA Policy Board and it is comprised of senior representatives from their respective organizations. The Department of Homeland Security is now a member and also has a senior representative on the Policy Board. The Policy Board's primary goal is to monitor and provide guidance and oversight for the ILEA training program to ensure that it is consistent with foreign policy and law enforcement goals. Policy Board members are also responsible for approving and appointing the ILEA Directors and Deputy Directors.

Functional level oversight of the ILEAs is provided by the ILEA Interagency Steering Group. This group is composed of representatives from agencies under each of the Departments that comprise the Policy Board as well as representatives from sub-agencies and other organizations that provide expertise and assistance to the ILEAs. The Policy Board meets bi-monthly and is chaired by officers from the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotic and Law Enforcement (INL).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the lead agency for ILEA Budapest, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for Bangkok and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) for Gaborone, San Salvador and Lima. The Roswell academy is administered by the State Department, working with a consortium of universities. The ILEA Directors report to the Policy Board through the Steering Group. The Deputy Directors report to and receive guidance from their respective Directors and the Steering Group. Advice and support for the ILEAs are also encouraged from the Chiefs of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in the host countries. The Director and Deputy are charged with keeping the Chief of Mission fully informed of all activities and operations of the ILEA in accordance with NSDD 38 requirements.

The ILEAs have no resident faculty and only a small administrative staff comprised of one U.S. Director, one or two U.S. Deputy Directors, and host country nationals. The host country nationals may be civilians employed directly by the ILEA or members of the host government seconded to the ILEA. The U.S. Director and Deputy Director(s) of the ILEAs are members of the Embassy Country Team and receive personnel and logistical support from the Embassy. In addition to US law enforcement instructors, Australia, Hungary, Thailand, Botswana, Japan, Hong Kong, Holland, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Canada, Russia, INTERPOL and the Council of Europe have also provided instructors.


Participants from Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the former republics of the Soviet Union attend the ILEA in Budapest. The ILEA in Bangkok covers the Southeast Asia region and China, including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. With some exceptions, participants from countries south of the Sahel in Africa and members of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) comprise the student body of the ILEA in Gaborone. The ILEA in San Salvador and the RTC in Lima, provide training to participants from the Caribbean as well as Central and South America. The ILEA in Roswell provides advanced instruction to graduates of all the regional ILEAS.

Development and Evaluation

The ILEA has always, and will continue to be a dynamic training program. They provide quality training in an environment of shifting regional economic, social and political issues. The challenges created in dealing with transnational crime are critical criteria for program development at all of the ILEAs.

Curriculum Conferences are held periodically for major adjustments to the ILEA curriculum in order to reflect the changing needs of the participating countries. In addition, the ILEA management staffs, the Steering Group, USG agencies and their foreign partners are constantly evaluating current training concepts and working to expand the existing programs. One of the primary missions of the ILEAs is to introduce new partners and initiatives to effectively address and combat evolving criminal trends.

Pre/Post testing, student’s critiques and end-of-session reports by instructors and program coordinators measure the effectiveness of the instruction at all the ILEAs. In addition, two scientific research firms, Conwal Associates and Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), have conducted formal evaluations. These are used to determine the impact of the ILEA core program in the professional development of the graduates and the extent to which this training has influenced their individual organizations. These comprehensive studies, conducted in Budapest and Bangkok, revealed very positive results in these areas.

Future Developments

The USG projects the addition of at least one ILEA to enhance training and cooperation with countries in the Middle East. A specific location has not been chosen and as yet there is no date for an official opening. Current long-term projections call for the continued operation and possible expansion of the existing ILEAs in order to increase both the number of participants and the range and variety of the courses given at the academies.

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