Dame Stella Rimington former Director General of the Security Service (MI5) has proven capability of gathering intelligence whilst balancing risk and security. Her absorbing experiences delivered in a straightforward, friendly and humorous way make for tremendous business analogies for corporate audiences to draw from. The relationship between leadership and management is explored and strategies that can be successfully applied to the ever-changing work environment are unveiled.
Dame Stella was born in 1935 and educated at Nottingham High School for Girls and Edinburgh University. After gaining a postgraduate diploma in the Study of Records and the Administration of Archives at Liverpool University, she worked in the Worcester County Record Office and the India Office Library, London. In 1965 she accompanied her husband on a posting to the British High Commission in New Delhi. While in India, she worked part-time for the Security Service, which at that time had an office in New Delhi.
Returning to the UK in 1969, she joined the Security Service as a full-time employee. She worked in all the main fields of the Service’s responsibilities – counter-subversion, counter-espionage and counter-terrorism – becoming successively Director of all three branches. She was appointed Director General of MI5 in 1992, the first woman to take the post and the first Director General to be publicly named. She retired in April 1996.
She delivered the 1994 Dimbleby Lecture and was made a Dame Commander of Bath in the 1996 New Year Honours List. Dame Stella has received honorary degrees from Nottingham and Exeter Universities. Edinburgh University elected her Alumna of the Year in 1994.
She is Non-Executive Director of Marks & Spencer Plc and BG Group Plc and an Associate Director of CPS, where she does executive coaching and mentoring. She was previously Chairman of the Institute of Cancer Research and Trustee of the Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Trust.
In her controversial autobiography Open Secret which was published in 2001 she recites entertaining stories of disguises and spying, and stamping documents with the word ‘Secret’ to tempt Russian agents. She has also authored five of her own novels since leaving the service and her latest thriller Rip Tide was published in July 2011. She was the Chair of Judges for the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
Until 2001, Dame Stella was Honorary Air Commodore of 7006 (VR) Intelligence Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force and a Trustee of the RAF Museum. She is also a Governor of Town Close House Preparatory School in Norwich. She has two grown-up daughters and a grand-daughter.
- Leadership in a World of Constant Change
- Managing Complex Organisations
- Women Pursuing Professional Careers
- Security in the 21st Century – National Security v’s the “Right to Know”
- The Media and its Standards
- Political and Current Affairs
- Northern Ireland and India
- Counter Espionage & Counter Terrorism