Ravi Gurumurthy will join innovation foundation Nesta as its chief executive at the end of this year.
He takes over from Geoff Mulgan, who has been Nesta’s chief executive for eight years. Mulgan has not yet announced his future plans.
Gurumurthy is currently chief innovation officer and founder of the Airbel Center at the International Rescue Committee in New York, which helps those affected by crisis in 40 countries.
He said: "Nesta plays a unique role generating, researching and scaling innovation in the UK and globally.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to build on the terrific work done by Geoff Mulgan and the team, and harness the skills, networks and resources of Nesta to tackle the biggest societal challenges of our time.”
Nesta’s chair welcomes new CEO
Sir John Gieve, Nesta’s chair, said: “I am delighted to welcome Ravi to Nesta.
“His record of strategic thinking and innovation will help him build on Geoff Mulgan’s achievement in transforming Nesta from a quango to an independent charity promoting innovation for social good."
Mulgan transitioned Nesta from a non-departmental public body to an independent charity in 2012, a year after he joined.
Gieve added: “There are huge opportunities today to use new technology and science to transform society for the better and to meet the challenges we face - from climate change to the loss of trust in big institutions.
“Under Ravi, I am confident Nesta will continue to nurture the best innovations, show that they work and collaborate to scale.”