The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has appointed Susan Jebb as its new chair.
The role will take effect from July 1.
The appointment follows a public pre-appointment scrutiny hearing in line with parliamentary procedures.
Jebb is currently an advisor to the National Food Strategy. She has previously chaired the cross-government expert advisory group on obesity from 2007 to 2011.
She also chaired the Department of Health responsibility deal food network from 2011 for four years and the public health advisory committees for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence from 2013 to 2018.
“I am delighted to be appointed Chair the Food Standards Agency,” Jebb said.
“This is an important time for our food system, and I am looking forward to building on the trust that government has placed in the FSA to play a full and active role in the challenges which lie ahead.”
Jebb was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to public health.
She added: “Most importantly I want to ensure that the department continues to be highly effective in protecting public health and delivering its mission of ‘food we can trust.’
“My aim is to champion science and transparent, evidence-based decision making, while ensuring the consumer perspective is central to everything we do.
“I want to strengthen our relationships across government and with the devolved countries, so that together we can maintain the confidence in our food standards among consumers and our trading partners.”
She will continue to work part time as chair of the FSA and continue work at the University of Oxford.