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
The bodies of five people have been found with the wreckage of a missing helicopter in Snowdonia, North Wales Police have said.
Neil Conway, who has terminal motor neurone disease, vowed to continue his battle against assisted dying law despite losing a High Court bid
Emergency services in Queensland posted a picture of the bull shark that wound up on a road while swimming in flood waters.