The new professional body for lecturers, the Institute for Learning (IfL), is to be led by Toni Fizaeli, who is working as a key Whitehall figure with responsibility for further education.
She becomes the first permanent chief executive of the institute, which is the compulsory membership body for lecturers in colleges and other state- funded, post-16 training organisations.
Until now, the organisation has been headed by Lee Davies, as acting chief executive.
Ms Fizaeli is deputy director of the further education group at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
Sue Crowley, chair of institute, said: "We are delighted to welcome Toni at this very important time in our evolution as a professional body. We believe that Toni will make a pivotal contribution to IfL and our endeavours to promote, value and develop the professionalism of all learning and skills practitioners."
Ms Fizaeli started as a teacher. Her career more recently has included a spell at the Learning and Skills Council, as quality and standards director, and its predecessor the Further Education Funding Council, as an inspector.
She has taught in colleges, prisons and schools.
Her CV also notes time with the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education and Leicestershire education authority.