MI5 is headed by the Director General, currently Sir Andrew Parker. The role of the Director General was set out in the Security Service Act 1989.
He is personally responsible for:
In discharging these responsibilities, the Director General is assisted by internal mechanisms designed to ensure that our work abides by the principles that:
Sir Andrew Parker is the current Director General of MI5. He is the seventeenth Director General to have headed MI5 since the post was created in 1909 (see former Directors General for a list of his predecessors).
Sir Andrew is a career MI5 officer with more than 30 years of professional experience in a wide range of national security and intelligence work, including in the fields of international terrorism, counter-espionage, Northern Ireland terrorism, serious and organised crime, protective security, policy and strategic planning. He also completed a liaison posting in the United States in 1991.
He spent three years on secondment to HM Customs & Excise as Director Intelligence before returning to MI5 in 2002 to join the Board as Director for Northern Ireland terrorism, Protective Security and Serious Crime. He was appointed Director International Terrorism in February 2005. Sir Andrew led MI5's response to the 2005 terrorist attacks in London, overseeing the significant expansion in counter-terrorism capability and the development of MI5's regional network. In 2006, his teams played the lead role in the disruption of Al Qaida's attempt to attack multiple airliners with bombs hidden in drinks bottles.
Sir Andrew was appointed Deputy Director General of the Security Service in April 2007, and succeeded Sir Jonathan Evans as Director General in April 2013.
Sir Andrew (born 1962) holds a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, and is married with two children. He enjoys the outdoors and is a keen ornithologist and wildlife photographer.