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Sir Richard Dearlove
Born 23 January 1945(1945-01-23) (age 77)
Gorran Haven, Cornwall
Nationality British
Alma mater Queens' College, Cambridge
Occupation Intelligence officer

Sir Richard Billing Dearlove, KCMG OBE (born 23 January 1945) was head of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) from 1999 until 6 May 2004. Sir Richard has been Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge since 2004.


Dearlove was born at Gorran Haven in Cornwall,[1] son of Jack Dearlove, 1948 Olympic silver medallist,[2] and attended Monkton Combe School near Bath, the Kent School in Kent, Connecticut, and Queens' College, Cambridge.[3] He joined MI6 in 1966 and was posted to Nairobi in 1968.[4] After being posted to Prague, Paris and Geneva he became head of Washington station in 1991,[4] director of personnel and administration in 1993 and director of operations in 1994.[4] Dearlove became chief in 1999.[4]

Sir Richard's tenure as the head of MI6, or "C", saw many momentous events for the service:

KCMG Badge and Breast Star

Dearlove was elected Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge on 1 August 2004.[4] He accepted an invitation to become the Chairman of Trustees of the Cambridge Union Society in 2006.[1] As Master of Pembroke, Dearlove is ex officio chairman of the board of Trustees of Pembroke House, a community centre in Walworth, London via the college's patronage of the advowson of St Christopher's, Walworth (CofE).[6][7]

In February 2008 Dearlove gave evidence at the inquest of Princess Diana's death, responding to Harrod's owner Mohamed al-Fayed who claimed that MI6 had murdered Diana.[4]

Sir Richard is a signatory of the Henry Jackson Society principles.[8] He is also a "senior advisor" to the Monitor Group – a global consultancy and private equity firm which has been implicated in undertaking PR work for Libya and Muammar Gaddafi. In April 2013, it was announced that Dearlove joined the advisory board of Ergo, a global intelligence and advisory firm.[9]

On 15 February 2011 Dearlove gave a talk at the Cambridge Union Society, taking as his theme the question of how much secrecy the UK needs:"The short answer to that question is that it needs some but actually not as much as you think."[10](2:48) He said he "would definitely draw a parallel at the moment between the wave of political unrest which is sweeping through the Middle East, in a very excited and rather extraordinary fashion, and also the Wikileaks phenomenon",[10](3:25) but added later, in connection with the way technological advances was altering the norms of civic and private life, commenting on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, that " ... the Assange story, as such, is ultimately a distraction. He's a very undignified flag-carrier, in my opinion, for a very important issue."[10](11:50)


External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir David Spedding
Chief of the SIS
Succeeded by
Sir John Scarlett
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Roger Tomkys
Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge
2004 –
Succeeded by

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