Reference list

Directors-general of the Security Service (MI5) (1909–2008)

The Security Service was founded in October 1909 as the home section of the Secret Service Bureau and was renamed Military Intelligence section 5 (MI5) in 1916. The service was established to counter German espionage in the UK and was initially headed by an army officer, Captain Vernon Kell, and Captain Mansfield Cumming of the Royal Navy. Kell and Cumming divided the service's responsibilities into separate organizations: the former focused on countering foreign espionage within the UK; the latter (which became the Secret Intelligence Service) on intelligence gathering overseas.

Until 1993 directors of the Security Service (as it became in 1931) were appointed in secret by the prime minister and not named publicly, a policy that ended during Stella Rimington's directorship.
1909–40Sir Vernon George Waldegrave Kell (1873–1942)
1940–41Oswald Allen Harker (1886–1968)
1941–6Sir David Petrie (1879–1961)
1946–53Sir Percy Joseph Sillitoe (1888–1962)
1953–6Sir Dick Goldsmith White (1906–1993)
1956–65Sir Roger Henry Hollis (1905–1973)
1965–72Sir (Edward) Martin Furnival Jones (1912–1997)
1972–9Sir Michael Bowen Hanley (1918–2001)
1979–81Sir Howard Smith (1919–1996)
1981–5Sir John Lewis Jones (1923–1998)
1985–7Sir (Arthur) Antony Duff (1920–2000)
1987–92Sir Patrick Jeremy Walker (b. 1932)
1992–6Dame Stella Rimington (b. 1935)
1996–2002Sir Stephen James Lander (b. 1947)
2002–2007Dame Elizabeth Lydia Manningham-Buller (b. 1948)
2007–Jonathan Evans (b. 1958)