Stella Rimington

First Woman to Hold the Position of Director General of MI5

  • Appointed Dame Commander of the Order of Bath in 1996
  • Received an Honorary Doctorate in Social Science from Nottingham Trent University
  • Inspiration behind the casting of Dame Judi Dench as ‘M’ in the James Bond movies
  • Former Assistant Director of the Inter-Departmental Group on Subversion
  • Former Deputy Director for MI5
  • Non-Executive Director of Marks & Spencer
  • Non-Executive Director of the BG Group
  • Published author of 11 spy fiction books

Discover Stella Rimington’s biography of published work below.

Stella Rimington
Open Secret: The Autobiography of the Former Director-General of MI5
Stella Rimington
At Risk
Stella 12
The Liz Carlyle Collection

When Stella Rimington is booked for events, they are known to discuss the following speaking topics:

Leadership and change
Political and current affairs
Counter espionage and counter terrorism
Women pursuing professional careers

Dame Stella Rimington is best known for her role as the former Director-General (DG) of MI5 – the first woman to ever take the prestigious role and the first DG to have their name released to the public. Stella was responsible for overseeing a public relations campaign to improve the relationship the MI5 had with the British public, she redefined the way the MI5 was viewed in the public’s eyes. Having held one of the most secretive positions in the world, Stella can now be hired as a speaker and shares her experiences in the service and motivates others to aspire to reach the top.

Remarkably, Stella’s career within the MI5 happened completely by chance; one day, whilst in India, Stella got a tap on the shoulder asking if she would want to become a typist in the service. Upon returning to the UK with her husband in 1969, Stella decided to apply for a permanent position at MI5 and so started her incredible career. Between 1969 and 1990 Stella has worked in all three branches of the service: counter terrorism, counter espionage and counter subversion. Stella held numerous important positions throughout her time in MI5 such as the Assistant Director of the Inter-departmental Group on Subversion and two Deputy Director Positions. It was on a return trip from Moscow in 1991 when Stella found out she would be the next Director General for MI5.

Upon retiring from the secret service in 1996, Stella has held numerous non-executive director roles for the likes of Marks & Spencer and the BG Group. These companies have benefitted from Stella’s wealth of experience as a woman at the forefront of one of the most important companies in the world, and from her visionary approach to leadership and strategy. Stella was also appointed Dame Commander of the Order of Bath in 1996 which has cemented her name in her history. From a rich career which lasted 30 years in the Secret Service, there is no wonder Stella has become a published author of 11 spy fiction books and released her revelatory biography Open Secret’ in 2001.

In recognition of her support for the openness of working in the secret service agencies, in 2009 Stella received an Honorary Doctorate in Social Science from Nottingham Trent University and in 2011, she served as a judge for the Man Brooker Prize. Having appeared on ‘Women’s Hour’ and having spoken at numerous events such as ‘RSA Conference’ and ‘InfoSec 2017’, Stella is perfectly equipped to share her tips and tricks on leadership strategy and change, and encourages other women to aim for the top in their professional careers. The inspiration behind the casting of Dame Judi Dench as ‘M’, when looking for advice from one of the most important leaders in Britain, look no further than Stella Rimington to hire at your next event.

Official Testimonials

Stella Rimington is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:

“They had an absolutely wonderful time with Dame Stella – Thank you so much for arranging, it was a huge hit.”

Susie, Travel Design Manager, Dreamscape

“She is an amazing lady and so very humble with it all. I think our guests were all enthralled and to be honest the only downside is that I think we all feel totally inadequate now!”

Peter, Managing Director, RGA UK

“She was fantastic, everyone loved her and she was such a great addition to the event. Please pass on how much of a pleasure it was for us to have her attend. So interesting, such an amazing life, we really enjoyed having her speak.”

Katie, Refinitiv

“They had an absolutely wonderful time with Dame Stella- thank you so much for arranging, it was a huge hit.”

Susie, Travel Design Manager, Dream Escape Magazine

“I just wanted to reiterate (having been there in person), what a truly wonderful morning this was. Dame Stella was the most superb speaker with a myriad of anecdotes that one can only begin to imagine what a life she led. Thank you so very much for helping us to arrange such a special and memorable occasion.”

Sally, Dream Escape Magazine

To enquire about Stella Rimington for your event or corporate function, simply contact us via or call a booking agent on 0203 0070 320.