The chief executive of Derry City Council has been appointed to lead Northern Ireland's new single education board.
Sharon O'Connor will become chairwoman of the Education Authority, which is being established to make savings by ending the duplication of services by replacing the five education and library boards.
Ms O'Connor will take up her post the day after she leaves the council. The education body will begin work on the same day that the 11 new "super councils" with enhanced powers replace the 26 old ones, on April 1 .
She has more than 20 years' experience as a director and in 2009/10 was the Institute of Directors public sector director of the year.
Ms O'Connor has been chief executive of Derry City Council since 2011.
Derry was the first UK City of Culture in 2013.
She has declared that she has not undertaken any political activity during the last five years. She holds one other public appointment as a non-executive director of north west development agency ILEX-URC, for which she receives no remuneration.
The Education Authority appointment will commence on April 1 for a four-year term. The annual pay will be £50,000 plus travel and subsistence allowances.
Appointment details of the 20 board members will be announced later.
Plans for a more ambitious single Education and Skills Authority were abandoned last September after failing to secure cross-party support.