New Opportunities Fund chief executive Stephen Dunmore will be the interim chief executive of the new Lottery distributor to be created by the merger with the Community Fund.
Dunmore beat off competition from Community Fund chief executive Richard Buxton to secure the post, and will oversee the administrative merger of the two bodies over the next few months.
Dunmore said: "Leading the merger of the two funds will be a tremendous challenge, which I very much welcome.
"The merged distributor will play a lead role in implementing the Government's agenda to transform Lottery distribution to ensure that the benefits of funding reach communities, promote social inclusion and explore new ways of engaging the voluntary and community sector."
A chair for the new distributor will be appointed in the new year, but a full legal merger will have to wait for the Lottery Bill expected to be introduced in 2005.