Dame Stella Rimington DCB

Former (and first female) Director General of MI5, the Security Service

About

Dame Stella Rimington is a former Director General of the Security Service (MI5). She was the first woman to take the post and also the first Director General to be publicly named.

Born in 1935 and educated at Nottingham High School for Girls then Edinburgh University, after gaining a postgraduate diploma in the Study of Records and the Administration of Archives at Liverpool University, Dame Stella 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.

Stella Rimington 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.

Stella was made a Dame Commander of the Bath in the 1996 New Year Honours List. She has received honorary degrees from Nottingham and Exeter Universities. Edinburgh University elected her Alumna of the Year in 1994.

She has been a Non-Executive Director of Marks & Spencer Plc and BG Group Plc and an Associate Director of CPS, where she facilitated executive coaching and mentoring. She was previously Chairman of the Institute of Cancer Research and Trustee of the Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Trust.

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 two granddaughters.

Her autobiography, Open Secret, was published by Hutchinson in 2001. Her first novel At Risk (July 2004) became a best-seller and her second, Secret Asset, was published in 2006. Her third novel, Illegal Action, was published in August 2007.

Speech Topics

Speaking about her life and career in the Secret Service, Dame Stella Rimington is invited to talk at a wide range of commercial engagements as both an after dinner speaker and keynote speaker.

Her audiences include corporate clients, business professionals, public and private sectors, trade associations and schools.

From a formal presentation on leadership, organisational change, national security or risk management to a more informal and light-hearted presentation about her lifetime’s experiences, Dame Stella’s straightforward, friendly and approachable demeanour are combined with a candid, informed and intelligent opinion.

She tailors her speech according to each event and is very happy to take questions. The one thing she will not do is tell a client how to run their business or impart business management advice; Dame Stella tells her story and the audience can then take from it what they will; incorporating any elements into their own lives or circumstances, as appropriate.

Leadership & Organisational Change
Having led MI5 through the unprecedented change from a closed to open organisation, Dame Stella Rimington is superb speaker on Leadership.

A radical change imposed by government, nobody had thought how this might affect the personal safety, and morale, of everyone involved. That lack of thought caused immense strain and pressure – she had to lead everyone through that too.

This involved looking after, and managing all ranks within the organisation, at a time when the world was under increased threats and when you had moving targets – for example, from the IRA, to global terrorism and Al Quaeda.
And the change from people who would not die for their cause (IRA) to those who wanted to be martyrs (AQ) and who were therefore more dangerous.
 
MI5 employs individuals with a very diverse range of skills and personality traits – from the cautious (who like detailed, painstaking work), to those who know they will have to take risks and make far-reaching decisions, with insufficient information, that might avert an international disaster.

It’s not a matter of “having a hunch”, or wandering around with a gun, like James Bond.




Testimonials

Dame Stella is exceptionally polished, very professional and inspiring. Her insight and knowledge are exceptional and we could have listed to her sharing her experiences all day

International Bank, London

Dame Stella was absolutely excellent – our audience were spellbound. She was an excellent choice and we would highly recommend her

Optimum Events for iTelligence Business Solutions

Dame Stella was superb. Excellent feedback. Delegates thought she was excellent. An absolute pleasure to have her at our event

PMK BNC for Microsoft

Dame Stella commanded respect and it was clear that our guests enjoyed listening to someone who “been there, seen it, and got the proverbial T-shirt”. She sparked interesting questions and was as relevant today as when she left MI5

Director of Communications, Coventry Building Society

We were absolutely delighted with Dame Stella’s talk. It was delivered with great humour and style and we have had excellent feedback from those present

Downham Market Lecture Society

Books and DVDs

Clients often ask about purchasing books for giveaways and delegate packs. Below you’ll find a selection of products by Dame Stella Rimington DCB. Click the images to view on Amazon's website. For bulk orders, please speak with your Booking Agent.

How to book Dame Stella Rimington DCB for your event

To book Dame Stella Rimington DCB, please submit an online enquiry, email bookings@nmp.co.uk or speak with one of our booking agents on +44 (0)1372 361 004.

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you made the whole process of finding and engaging our speaker very easy.
Julie Smith, Head of HR - Hastoe Group
MORE TESTIMONIALS
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