Dame Stella Rimington

About

Welcome to the Official Website for Dame Stella Rimington

Appointed the first female Director General of MI5 in 1992, Dame Stella Rimington is widely seen as the model for Dame Judi Dench's "M" in the James Bond films. It is even rumoured that her dress style at the time influenced M’s wardrobe choices.

Stella Rimington
Dame Stella Rimington © Paul Clarke 2021

Stella Rimington was educated at Nottingham Girls' High School and Edinburgh University where she took an MA in English Language and Literature. She went on to gain a Postgraduate Diploma in the Administration of Archives and The Study of Records at Liverpool University. She worked as an archivist in the Worcestershire County Archives and the India Office Library in London and in 1965 accompanied her husband on a diplomatic posting to the British High Commission in New Delhi. There, she was recruited as a part-time clerk typist by the MI5 office in the High Commission. Returning to the UK in 1969, she joined MI5 full-time, beginning a career which lasted until her retirement from the Service in 1996. During her career she became Director of each of the operational branches of the Service, counter-subversion, counter-espionage and counter-terrorism, and then Deputy Director General in 1991. On her appointment as Director General in 1992, she became the first female to hold the post and the first Head of one of Britain’s Intelligence Services to be publicly named, beginning a new era of openness for UK Intelligence.

Stella was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 1996 New Year's Honours and she holds honorary degrees from several universities. Amongst other appointments since her retirement from MI5, she has been a non executive director of Marks & Spencer plc and BG Group plc, Chairman of the Institute of Cancer Research, a Trustee of the Royal Marsden Hospital and the charity Refuge, and a school governor.

In 2001, Stella published her autobiography, Open Secret and she has since published ten novels featuring the MI5 officer Liz Carlyle.
The Devil's Bargain, published in 2022, introduces a new heroine Manon Tyler, a young CIA officer.
Stella has two daughters and five grandchildren.

Books

  • All
  • Autobiography
  • Thrillers
Open Secret

Open Secret

The Autobiography of the Former Director-General of MI5

At Risk

At Risk

A terrorist is targeting Britain. And to make matters worse it's someone traveling under a British passport. Impossible to find before it’s too late.The job falls to Liz Carlyle, the most resourceful counter terror agent in British intelligence.

Secret Asset

Secret Asset

We are plunged back into Liz Carlyle's high-stakes, high-tension world.

Illegal Action

Illegal Action

The third installment in Stella Rimington’s series of espionage thrillers featuring the fiercely intelligent, ambitious MI5 officer Liz Carlyle

Dead Line

Dead Line

The fourth installment in Stella Rimington’s series of thrilling novels that have at their center MI5 officer Liz Carlyle

Present Danger

Present Danger

MI5 intelligence officer Liz Carlyle has just been despatched to Northern Ireland. It's a promotion, and she'll be running agents...

Rip Tide

Rip Tide

The sixth book finds pirates attacking a cargo ship off the Somalian coast and one of them is found to be a British-born Pakistani. Alarm bells start ...

Geneva Trap

Geneva Trap

The seventh Liz Carlyle story. At a tracking station in Virginia, U.S. Navy officers watch in horror

Close Call

Close Call

The Arab Spring has swept through the Middle East and Liz Carlyle is racing to investigate arms deals in Yemen.

Breaking Cover

Breaking Cover

A new Cold War is coming, and Liz Carlyle is about to find herself on very thin ice.

Moscow Sleepers

Moscow Sleepers

Liz Carlyle's tenth investigation is a sinister Russian plot - tense, gripping and global.

Devils Bargain

Devils Bargain

The Devil's Bargain introduces Manon Tyler, a CIA analyst seconded to London.

Speaking

Dame Stella speaks about her life and career as former Director General of MI5 and as an international thriller author.
Her clients include national and international companies, banks, insurance, public and private sectors, trades associations and schools. Her straightforward approach and friendly, candid manner are combined with an informed view and intelligent judgement.
Happy to take questions, she prefers to speak live, and meet guests as she signs copies of her books after her speech.
Details of how to book Dame Stella are shown below on the contact page.

Bank of America

Dame Stella was superb. We had an incredible event that had global interest and attracted a capacity audience. Brilliant!

Shropshire Federation of Women’s Institutes, 2022

It was a pleasure to meet and hear Dame Stella and we have received so many plaudits regarding her. We are now all wondering what on Earth to do to follow our 2022 success!  I will be in touch and it’s great to have a ‘spy pen’ again!” 

Global software security company

Open. Honest. Candid. Stellar

Microsoft

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

Leading global and UK bank

A thought-provoking presentation for our Risk Division Leadership Meeting. All our attendees thoroughly enjoyed Dame Stella’s insight, and the challenges she faced remain relevant today. An excellent session and we have received really positive feedback. Dame Stella was the highlight of the day.

The Arts Club, London

What a privilege to hear Dame Stella speak. Everyone in the room was fascinated and could have listened for another hour. There was a real buzz around the club about Dame Stella. Our most heartfelt and renewed thanks.

Champions UK

We couldn’t have asked for a better speaker and human being. For someone who has seen and experienced so much, Dame Stella was so approachable and friendly – refreshing traits in a speaker.

Ernst & Young

Very impressed with Dame Stella's speech – it was well-delivered, well-argued and stimulating. She answered questions unexpectedly openly, given a career in an organisation which reminds each employee not to assume things are ever as they might appear to be.

International financial company

Dame Stella provoked such a positive response. We weren’t sure that our most recent speaker would be surpassed. But we were proved wrong! Her message and observations resonated very clearly with our colleagues at the firm. She offered a perfect fit of outlook and perspective. Thank you to DBA Speakers for making it such a success.

Contact

For all speaking engagements and media enquiries, contact exclusively Diana Boulter at DBA Speakers

Diana of DBA Speakers and Stella
Diana Boulter with Stella Rimington

For literary enquiries, contact Georgina Capel

georgina@georginacapel.com