Richards joins Computer Aid, the not-for-profit supplier of professionally refurbished PCs to the developing world, from War on Want, where she spent five years as chief executive. Before that, Richards was head of international relations at trade union Unison.
Richards succeeds Tony Roberts, the charity's founder, who has moved into the new role of director of international development.
"Louise Richards has been an active supporter of Computer Aid, so she knows our work well," said Roberts. "Her knowledge and contacts within the industry will be invaluable."