Stella Rimington

Former Director General of MI5, Non-Executive Director for Marks & Spencer

  • First female Director General of MI5
  • First woman promoted to the rank of Director of a Service
  • Appointed Dame Commander in 1996
  • Awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Social Science from Nottingham Trent University
  • Chair of Judges for the Man Booker Prize 2011

Discover [post:title]’s biography of published work below.

Stella Rimington Open Secret
Open Secret: The Autobiography of the Former Director-General of MI5
Stella Rimington At Risk
At Risk
Stella Rimington The Moscow Sleepers
The Moscow Sleepers

When [post:title] is booked for events, they are known to discuss the following speaking topics:

Leadership & Change
Political & Current Affairs
Counter Espionage & Counter Terrorism
Women Pursuing Professional Careers

Widely known as the first female Director-General of MI5, Dame Stella Rimington has firmly cemented her name in the history books. Appointed to the role in 1992, Stella served four successful years with the secret service. Now booked as a motivational female speaker, Stella is invited to speak on topics such as women pursuing professional careers, counter-espionage, counter-terrorism and more.

First joining the MI5 in 1969, Stella gradually worked her way through the secret service until she became the first woman to be promoted to a Director of a Service. During her tenure as DG, Stella was passionate about combatting Irish terrorist movements and worked in all three branches of the MI5- counter-terrorism, counter-subversion and counter espionage. She is also widely remembered for being the Assistant Director of the Inter-departmental Group on Subversion in Public Life after the computer operators strike in the Department of Health and Social Security.

Stella is also remembered for her work in making friendly contact with the secret services enemy’s, the KGB, and for giving evidence against Czechoslovakian spy Erwin van Haarlem. After retiring from the MI5 in 1996, Stella has committed her time as a Non-Executive Director of Marks & Spencer and authored several thriller genre novels about a spy- including the titles At Risk, Illegal Action, Present Danger, Breaking Cover, and The Moscow Sleepers. Stella has also received recognition for her service in the form of appointment as Dame Commander and an Honorary Doctor of Social Science from Nottingham Trent University.

Pioneering the secret service as a woman, Stella Rimington is now a popular choice as a female motivational speaker to share her story on how she became the first female Director-General of MI5. Embarking fearlessly into a male-dominated sector, Stella showed that women were equally capable as men, with her appointment now allowing women to be accepted into top positions in such organisations. Having found that ‘female skills’ are essential in the running of successful businesses, Stella is passionate to spread the importance of diversity in gender in top positions as a female motivational speaker.

Official Testimonials

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

“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

“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

To enquire about Stella Rimington for your event or corporate function, simply contact us via or call a booking agent on 0203 9158 282.