The Lord Parker of Minsmere GCVO KCB

Distinguished Fellow


The Lord Parker of Minsmere GCVO KCB is a Distinguished Fellow of RUSI and former Director General of the Security Service (MI5). He joined MI5 in 1983 and amassed a 30-year career in a wide range of national security and intelligence roles. He completed postings in the fields of international terrorism, counter-espionage, Northern Ireland terrorism, serious and organised crime, protective security and policy. 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. Lord Parker 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.

Lord Parker was appointed Deputy Director General of the Security Service in April 2007 and served as Director General from 2013 to 2020.

As Director General, he led MI5 forward against developing threats from Russia, China and Iran, in tackling the onset of Islamic State, responding to major incidents in the UK, and reshaping for Covid-19. He attended National Security Council meetings, advising on national and international strategies and responses to events and crises. Lord Parker made particular themes of greater integration of the three UK Agencies, new technology-centred change, closer partnerships with European and 5-eyes agencies, and championed inclusion.

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