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Dame Stella Rimington speaker

Stella Rimington

London, UK

Director General, MI5 (1992-96)

Expert on risk, leadership and communication

Acclaimed novelist

Dame Stella Rimington DCB is the former Director General of the Security Service (MI5). She has published several acclaimed novels and a best-selling autobiography, “Open Secret” (Arrow, 2002).

She joined the Security Service in 1969 as a full time employee. An expert on managing risk, she worked in counter subversion, counter espionage and counter terrorism, becoming successively director of all three branches.

She was appointed Director General of MI5 in 1992, the first woman to hold the post and the first Director General to be publicly named. During her time as Director General she pursued a policy of greater openness for MI5, giving the 1994 Dimbleby Lecture on BBC TV and several other public lectures, and publishing a booklet about the Service.

Retiring from MI5 in April 1996, Dame Stella went on to write novels that blended issues of terrorism, risk, class and gender. “At Risk” (Arrow, 2004) mixes East End gangsters, hierarchy and the role of women in government organisations; “Secret Asset” (Arrow, 2006) plots the task of an MI5 intelligence officer in the search for a terrorist bent on bringing down the British establishment. Her most recent novels are “Rip Tide” (2012) and “The Geneva Trap” (2013). “Close Call” (the 8th novel about her principal character, Liz Carlyle) will be published in July this year.

Dame Stella is currently an Associate Director of CPS, where she does executive coaching and mentoring. In 2011, she served as Chair of the judging panel for the Booker Prize for Fiction.

Our Comment

"Having reached the pinnacle of a highly male-dominated sector, Dame Stella provides fascinating insights on managing risk, leadership, teamwork, the impact of change in an organisation, communication and collaborative working. She is a unique and effective speaker, with a wide range of anecdotes and expert opinions from her years of experience of leading the British Secret Service."

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