Sam Younger will succeed Andrew Hind as chief executive of the Charity Commission, it was announced today.
In a statement, Younger said he was excited about joining the commission, which faces a 5 per cent cut in its budget in real terms, at a "challenging time".
"Some of my previous roles have given me an affinity with the voluntary sector," he said. "I look forward to building on that connection and on my experience of regulation."
Younger was managing director of the BBC World Service from 1994 to 1998 during a 20-year career at the corporation.
After two years in charge of the British Red Cross, he was appointed the first chair of the Electoral Commission, which supervises the electoral system, in 2001.
He was appointed interim chief executive of housing and homelessness charity Shelter in 2009 and is currently interim chief executive of the Bell Educational Trust, a charity that provides English-language teaching.
Younger has no public history of party political affiliation but his father, Kenneth, served as a Labour minister in Clement Attlee's government and his cousin, George Younger, was a minister under Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Dame Suzi Leather, chair of the commission, said Younger brought "considerable experience of managing change while remaining focused on delivery.
"Sam has an impressive track record of effective leadership in regulation, in public policy and in charity," she said. "His career demonstrates his deep commitment to the voluntary sector and to public service."
Leather said the commission had become "more agile, more relevant and above all more effective" under Hind's "wise and committed leadership".