To report an imminent threat call 999 or ring the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321
Current UK threat level: SEVERE Read more about threat levels >>

Dame Stella Rimington (Director General 1992-96)

Portrait of Dame Stella RimingtonDame Stella Rimington (born 1935) was the first woman to become Director General of the Security Service on her appointment to that position in 1992. The following year she became the Service's first publicly acknowledged DG.

She joined the Service in 1969 and worked in a variety of roles, including counter-subversion and counter-terrorism. She became the first woman to be promoted to the rank of Director of a Service branch. Under her management as Director General, the Service took on the lead role in the fight against Irish republican terrorism. Dame Stella also instituted a policy of greater public openness that included the beginning of an ongoing programme of releasing historical Service files to the National Archives.

Dame Stella retired from the Service in 1996. She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath in the same year and published her autobiography, Open Secret, in 2001. Since then she has published a number of novels set in the world of intelligence and counter-terrorism.

Fact or Fiction?
MI5's headquarters is open to the public on Tuesdays.

True False

Latest News

view ALL News

GCHQ Centenary Plaque Unveiling

Andrew Parker, Director General of MI5, was present at the unveiling by HM The Queen of a plaque commemorating the GCHQ...

Read Full Article ›

Celebrating Vote 100

MI5 is celebrating the centenary of women’s right to vote with a number of events. In particular, our gender network is...

Read Full Article ›