Anne Keast-Butler will become the first female director of GCHQ, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.
She will succeed Sir Jeremy Fleming as the 17th director of the Cheltenham based intelligence agency.
Mr Cleverly said: “Anne Keast-Butler has an impressive track record at the heart of the UK’s national security network, helping to counter threats posed by terrorists, cyber-criminals and malign foreign powers.
“She is the ideal candidate to lead GCHQ, and Anne will use her vast experience to help keep the British public safe.”
The appointment was made following a cross-government recruitment process chaired by Cabinet Secretary Simon Case.
Ms Keast-Butler said: “I am delighted to be appointed as the 17th director of GCHQ.
“GCHQ’s mission to keep the UK safe is as inspiring today as it was when it was founded more than 100 years ago, operating at the very heart of the UK and our allies’ response to some of the most challenging issues of our time.
“In just the last year GCHQ has contributed vital intelligence to shape the West’s response to the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine; helped disrupt terrorist plots; and worked tirelessly to tackle the ongoing threat of ransomware, the impact of which costs the UK dearly.
“I was privileged to work in GCHQ a few years ago, so I know I am again joining a world-class team of people from diverse backgrounds with a broad range of skills, who share a singular focus on making our country safer, more secure, and more prosperous.
“I am passionate about continuing to ensure that GCHQ is an organisation where everyone can perform to their very best.”
Image: Jeremy Fleming Outgoing director Sir Jeremy, who announced his intention to step down in January, said: “Anne’s appointment is fantastic news for the organisation.
“I have worked with Anne for decades and think she is a brilliant choice with deep experience of intelligence and security in today’s technology-driven world.”