Speaking at Home Office questions in the Commons, Theresa May said: "He has experienced the service evolving over the years and as Director General has lead the service through particularly challenging times of change and unrest, including the aftermath of the 7/7 bombings.
"His tireless work helped ensure the delivery of a safe and successful Olympic and Paralympic Games last year.
"I commend and thank him for his invaluable contribution to public safety and national security."
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: "We also give thanks for the work Sir Jonathan Evans has done over many years for the security of this country."
More top news
Paramedics were called to reports of an unresponsive baby girl on a bus in east London - she later died in hospital.
Government ministers from the UK, France and China attended the event.
Tonight investigates the increasingly sophisticated methods criminals are using to target the elderly and defraud them of their savings.