Born and educated in the North East, Mr Stratford is currently deputy chief executive with Thurrock BC. Thurrock is a similar sized authority to Newcastle with a population of 300,000.
Newcastle Council leader Tony Flynn said: 'I am delighted that we have appointed someone with such a strong track record in revitalising and changing a number of local authorities.
'This is an important and exciting time for the city. We are close to submitting our joint bid with Gateshead for capital of culture. Major developments and improvements are taking place across the city and the council is facing up to the challenge of improving service delivery within a difficult financial climate.
'The city council has high ambitions for the city and its people. We are reaching a point where those ambitions are starting to become a reality. The challenge for us all will be to turn our vision into reality - bringing jobs, improved homes, higher standards of education and services fit for the 21st century.
'Ian Stratford will help turn those ambitions into reality. I am sure the people of Newcastle will give him a warm welcome and support the council in planning and delivering a better, brighter and more prosperous city'.
Mr Stratford, 47, was educated at South Shields Grammar School, the University of Reading, University of Salford and Durham Technical College.
He is currently employed as deputy chief executive with Thurrock BC and has been with that authority since 1997. He was executive director of housing with Enfield LBC between 1990 and 1997, and director of housing with Enfield between 1998 and 1990.
Between 1983 and 1988 he was deputy director of housing with Middlesbrough Council and prior to that appointment he was employed as an area housing manager with Middlesbrough DC. He started his career as a housing officer with South Tyneside Council in 1978.