Dame Stella Rimington

British Author, Former Director General of MI5

Dame Stella Rimington was formerly Director General of the Security Service (MI5). She worked in all three main fields of the service—countersubversion, counterespionage and counterterrorism, becoming successively Director of all three branches. Appointed Director General of MI5 in 1992, Dame Stella was the first woman to take the post and the first Director General to be publicly named. She retired in April 1996. Made a Dame Commander of the Bath in the 1996 New Year Honours List, she has received honorary degrees from Nottingham and Exeter Universities. Her autobiography Open Secret has been followed by a series of acclaimed thriller novels featuring MI5 agent Liz Carlyle. Dame Stella is known to billions of people worldwide as she was the role model for the character of “M” played by Dame Judi Dench in the James Bond 007 films.