Dr Graham Love has been appointed new Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority following the retirement last August of Tom Boland.
Dr Love worked in senior roles in Science Foundation Ireland before assuming his current position as Chief Executive of the Health Research Board.
Commenting on the appointment, HEA Chairman Michael Horgan said the role was a strategically significant one.
He said Dr Love had extensive experience in leading organisations and in supporting change.
Dr Love said it was an honour to be tasked with a leading role in shaping the future of the higher education system.
He will take up his new position in March.