The British Heart Foundation has appointed Charmaine Griffiths to take over as chief executive when Simon Gillespie retires at the end of the year.
Griffiths is rejoining BHF after nearly four years as chief operating officer at the Institute of Cancer Research.
Griffiths was executive director of strategy and performance at BHF, having joined the charity in 2003 as media manager.
Elsewhere, she holds leadership roles for several ambitious initiatives, including the London Cancer Hub and a pioneering new £75m Centre for Cancer Drug Discovery, which is set to open in spring 2020.
She did her PhD and postdoctoral research in neuroscience at University College London, while also working in public engagement for the Wellcome Trust.
Griffiths said: “I’m delighted to be returning to the BHF. I’m passionate about the life-saving work of the charity and it is a privilege to be re-joining the team of staff, volunteers and supporters at the outset of an exciting new strategy.
“I look forward to leading the BHF team to beat heartbreak from heart and circulatory diseases.”
Doug Gurr, chair of BHF, said: “Charmaine’s broad experience in science, health and operations is impressive and combines the perfect skillset to head our world-leading charity. I’m excited to welcome her back to the BHF.”