Paul Jenkins, director of service development at the NHS Direct Special Health Authority, will take over as chief executive of Rethink in January next year.
His four key aims are to increase the charity's membership among mental health patients and their carers, forge new partnerships and expand activities, ensure continued government support for mental health, and intensify Rethink's campaign to raise awareness of mental health and combat discrimination.
"In front of us is a future that is now realisable - in which people with mental health problems, however severe, can have real hope of recovering a full and meaningful life," Jenkins said. "I am determined that Rethink will play its full part, in partnership with the wider mental health world, in realising that future and placing mental health in the mainstream of public concern and action."
Jenkins replaces outgoing chief executive Cliff Prior.