Rolande Anderson has been appointed Campbell Robb's successor as director general of the Office of the Third Sector.
Anderson, who is director general of the Office for National Statistics, will take up the post on 21 December on a 12-month contract.
Robb was on a three-year contract, but a spokesman for the OTS said Anderson was being loaned from the ONS for a year. He stressed, however, that her time at the OTS could extend beyond 2010.
Anderson will combine her job at the OTS with the role of director general of the Social Exclusion Task Force, which is also based in the Cabinet Office. The two roles were combined under Robb in September.
Anderson is a career civil servant who was employed as regional director of the Government Office for the South East before joining the ONS.
She has also worked as deputy director general of the innovation group at the old Department for Trade and Industry, and as chief executive of the Radiocommunications Agency, where she led the agency's merger with communications regulator Ofcom. She has never been employed in the voluntary sector.
She is a non-executive director of the Genesis Housing Group, an associate of Newnham College, Cambridge and a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, more commonly known as the RSA.
Anderson said in a statement she was "thrilled" to take the job: "I have seen at first hand the huge contribution the third sector makes through its work in regional and local partnerships, and the understanding it brings of the impact of policies on people, particularly the most vulnerable."
"As a champion of diversity throughout my career in Government, I have also valued the expert help of the sector on issues such as disability awareness and overcoming cultural barriers."
Angela Smith, the Minister for the Third Sector, said Anderson brought with her "a vast amount of experience and expertise".
Robb is leaving to become chief executive of housing and homelessness charity Shelter.