Meta Ramsay, Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale
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|The Right Honourable
The Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale
|Born||12 June 1936|
|Alma mater||University of Glasgow, Graduate Institute of International Studies|
Educated at the University of Glasgow and the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Ramsay served in the British diplomatic service from 1969 to 1991. A fluent Russian speaker, having studied with Elizabeth Smith, wife of the late John Smith, she was a well-respected Case Officer with Britain's Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6). She served with distinction in Stockholm and in Helsinki where, as the SIS Head of Station, she was involved in the successful exfiltration of the former KGB Colonel Oleg Gordievsky.
A contemporary of Sir John Scarlett, the chief of SIS from 2004 to 2009, she was short-listed to succeed an earlier MI6 chief - Sir Colin McColl, though at that time, 1994, she lost out to Sir David Spedding, left the Service and moved into full-time politics.
Between 1998 and 2001, Ramsay was Baroness in Waiting (Whip); Spokesperson of the Scottish Office; Spokesperson of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs; and Spokesperson of Culture, Media and Sports; in the Lords. In 2002 she was appointed Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords a position she still holds (one Deputy Speaker from a panel of 20 to 25 Deputy Speakers preside over debates when the Lord Speaker is not present).
In 2005 she was appointed a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee, which provides parliamentary oversight of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), GCHQ and the Security Service (MI5). She is an advisory council member of the foreign-policy think-tank, the Foreign Policy Centre.