Frances McCandless, director of policy at the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, is set to become the first chief executive of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, Third Sector understands.
The commission, which was set up early last year, has so far operated with an interim chief executive, Seamus Murray, seconded from the province's Department for Social Development.
Patricia Sloan, deputy chief charity commissioner at the CCNI, said she could not name the favoured candidate and that no formal offer had been made. "We haven't confirmed references yet and there has been no exchange of contracts," she said.
Both McCandless and Nicva declined to comment.
The commission already has its full complement of commissioners, including former insurance executive and Northern Ireland Tourist Board chair Thomas McGrath, who will chair the organisation.