Welsh inspection body Estyn has appointed a temporary chief inspector while it hunts for a candidate to replace Dr Bill Maxwell, who left the post this week.
Ann Keane, currently strategic director at Estyn, will take over the top job until a permanent replacement is appointed in the autumn.
The education profession was shocked when Dr Maxwell resigned last December after just two years in the post.
He returned to his native Scotland this week to head up the Scottish schools inspectorate.
Ms Keane, who has worked for the organisation since 1984, said: "It is an honour to take up the role of chief inspector and I am confident that Estyn is in a strong position to drive forward the good work that Dr Bill Maxwell accomplished during his leadership.
"We are on track to deliver our new inspection framework and over the next few months I will work closely with the senior management team to ensure business continuity throughout the interim period."
Her appointment was welcomed by the Assembly government.
Education minister Leighton Andrews said: "Estyn has an integral role to play in ensuring that we continue to make improvements to the education and training system here in Wales.
"I'm sure that Ann will make a significant impact during her time at the Estyn helm. I wish her well with her appointment."