Roberta Blackman-Woods, Labour MP for the City of Durham, has been appointed the shadow minister for civil society.
Blackman-Woods, 53, who has been an MP since 2005, will shadow the civil society minister, Nick Hurd, and will be part of Labour's shadow Cabinet Office team, led by Liam Byrne, the shadow Cabinet Office minister.
Before being elected, Blackman-Woods was a professor of social policy at Northumbria University. She has worked as a consultant to Save the Children and the Child Poverty Action Group, and helped to set up Women's Aid in Northern Ireland.
A statement on Blackman-Woods' website said: "Roberta will also use her new role as shadow minister for civil society to take the government to task over any cuts to the voluntary sector, especially as the government has suggested a bigger role for charities in the delivery of public services."