David Robb is to step down as chief executive of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator early next year.
Robb became the second chief executive of the OSCR, a non-ministerial department of the Scottish government based in Dundee, after the departure of Jane Ryder in 2011.
He has been appointed chief executive of Student Awards Agency Scotland.
An interim chief executive at the OSCR will be appointed before the search for a permanent successor begins in March.
An OSCR spokesman said Robb's precise leaving date had not been agreed but it was likely to be late January.
The spokesman said: "The Scottish government is currently recruiting a new chair, who will take up the role on 1 March.
"The board thought it would be sensible to put in place an interim until the new chair could be involved in the recruitment process for a permanent successor."
Robb's post has a salary banding of £80,000 to £85,000.
Asked if his successor would receive the same, the spokesman said: "The OSCR chief executive position is a senior civil service post and the salary will be in line with other similar positions."
An OSCR statement said Robb had "overseen a change to more targeted regulation by the organisation, focusing the OSCR’s resources on areas that have the greatest impact on public trust and confidence in charities".
Career civil servant Robb, who was seconded to the Scottish Government Digital Directorate from December 2016 to July 2017, said in the statement: "Charities make a hugely positive contribution to communities across Scotland and I think OSCR’s role in underpinning public trust and confidence in their good governance is now firmly established."
Graham Forbes, chair of the OSCR, added: "The OSCR he leaves behind has become a 21st century light-touch regulator promoting our vision of charities you can trust and stressing the public benefit they bring to us all in so many ways."