Ms Shortland started her career with the police force, but has been on the political scene in Somerset for the past 15 years. She is an executive member of Somerset CC and holds the finance portfolio.
The assembly membership also elected Chanel Stevens, a Labour member of North Somerset Council, as its new deputy chairman. Cate Le Grice-Mack is elected as a vice-chairman. She represents environmental bodies in her capacity as an assembly Social, Economic and Environmental Partner (SEEP).
Completing the assembly leadership will be Simon Day, a Conservative member for Devon CC, and Pat Ferguson, leader of Torridge DC, who are also vice-chairmen of the assembly.