Stella Rimington was the first woman to become Director General of MI5.
Dame Stella started her career working part-time for MI5 at their office in New Delhi, India. Then, on her return to the UK, she joined the Security Service full time. During her thirty-year career at MI5, Dame Stella worked in all the main fields of the Service’s responsibilities – counter-subversion, counter-espionage and counter-terrorism.
She became Director General of MI5 in 1992 and led the Service’s counter-espionage work in the closing days of the Cold War. In the late 1980s she was in charge of the Service’s work against International and Irish terrorism.
Stella pursued a policy of greater openness at MI5, seeking to explain to the public what the Service was and the extent of its responsibilities. She delivered the 1994 Dimbleby Lecture on BBC TV, has given several other public lectures and also published a booklet about the Service.