Honorary graduates

Dame Stella Rimington DCB2009

Dame Stella Rimington DCB - Ground-breaking former security chief and writer

Honorary Degree of Doctor of Social Science in recognition of her support for openness about the work of the secret service.

Stella Rimington is still best known for being in charge of MI5, a job she left in 1996. She has since held company directorships, and leading roles with charities, and become a successful author. She was not only the first woman Director-General, she was the first to be publicly named and photographed.

Under her influence the security service lost its old-fashioned gents' club image and emerged with a modern professional edge. She worked to make the service more open and achieve proper recognition of its strategic activity.

Dame Stella, a former pupil of Nottingham High School for Girls, joined MI5 after embarking on a career as an archive librarian and moving to India with her husband who was in the diplomatic service. She published, in 2001, her revelatory autobiography, Open Secret. She has also produced four novels, and is working on a fifth. Not surprisingly they are in the genre of spy fiction.

Dame Stella was nominated by the University's School of Social Sciences for her support for openness in public life.