Sunderland City Council has confirmed Irene Lucas will take over as Interim Chief Executive from April.
Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Paul Watson, said: "We are delighted to confirm that after a lengthy selection process, Irene Lucas CBE will become Interim Chief Executive of Sunderland City Council from April this year.
"With previous roles as Director General of Local Government in the Department of Communities and Local Government and Chief Executive at South Tyneside Council, she brings a great deal of experience and skills to the role along with her affinity and knowledge of our city.
"Sunderland City Council is continuing the process of transformation to meet new challenges in service delivery, and Irene will build upon on the new plans already put in place by the hard work of colleagues led by the Interim Head of Paid Service and Director of Finance Sonia Tognarelli who is now retiring after 35 years with the city council."
The council's former chief executive Dave Smith resigned in August.