Speech title: Open Secret
Dame Stella Rimington was appointed Director General of the Security Service MI5 in 1992. She was the first woman to take the post and the first Director General to be publicly named in the government’s spirit of openness. She retired in April 1996. Prior to this, she had worked in all the main fields of the Security Service’s responsibilities — countersubversion, counterespionage and counterterrorism, becoming successively Director of all three branches. Educated at Nottingham High School for Girls and Edinburgh University, she gained a postgraduate diploma in the Study of Records and the Administration of Archives at Liverpool University. In 1965, she accompanied her husband on a posting to the British High Commission in New Delhi. While there, she worked part-time for the Security Service, which had an office in New Delhi at that time. Returning to the U.K., she joined the Security Service full-time. Made a Dame Commander of the Bath in the 1996 New Year Honours List, Dame Stella has Honorary Degrees from several Universities, including Nottingham, Warwick, Lucy Cavendish Cambridge and Exeter. Previously Non-Executive Director of Marks & Spencer Plc, BG Group Plc, and Associate Director of CPS, she was Chairman of the Institute of Cancer Research and Trustee of the Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Trust. She has two daughters and five grandchildren. A best-selling thriller writer, Dame Stella’s most recent book is “The Moscow Sleepers,” which is the tenth in her Liz Carlyle thriller series. Her autobiography “Open Secret” is widely acclaimed. Dame Stella chaired the Judging Panel for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 2012. Dame Stella is known to billions of people worldwide as the role model for the character “M” played by Dame Judi Dench in the James Bond 007 films. It is rumored that her own personal style influenced M’s character.