The National Trust has promoted Hilary McGrady to the role of director-general.
McGrady, who will succeed Helen Ghosh in March, has worked for the trust for the past 12 years, most recently as the charity's chief operating officer. She is the first director-general to be appointed internally for 16 years.
McGrady trained in graphic design and worked in branding and marketing in the drinks industry before becoming director of a national arts charity.
In 2002 she became chief executive of Belfast's unsuccessful bid to become European Capital of Culture. She then became a cultural tourism consultant before joining the trust as the charity's regional director, first in Northern Ireland, then Wales and finally London and the south east.
"This is a charity I love because it looks after the things that matter to me personally: the outdoors, the arts, heritage, nature and beauty," she said.
Tim Parker, chair of the trust, said the board had chosen McGrady unanimously.
"Hilary's appointment followed a rigorous selection process during which we considered a range of excellent candidates from a variety of backgrounds and organisations," said Parker.
Ghosh, who said in July that she would leave to become master of Balliol College at Oxford University, oversaw a strategy that has seen membership and visitor numbers reach all-time highs, the charity said.
A trust spokesman said the director-general's salary was set at £191,000 in 2016 and McGrady would earn the same unless the senior management remuneration committee set a new pay award for the next financial year.