Ciarán Devane is to be the chairperson of the new Health Service Executive Board when it is established.
Mr Devane has been a member of the board of NHS England.
He is the Chief Executive of the British Council and was chief executive of the British health charity Macmillan Cancer Support.
His appointment follows a Public Appointments Service campaign to identify potential candidates to chair the Board of the HSE.
The Government today noted that Mr Devane is the Minister for Health Simon Harris's designated chairperson for the role.
The Department of Health said that one of the early tasks of the chairperson will be to participate in the selection of the chief executive officer of the HSE.
That process is under way.