Mr Walkley will cut short a year-long secondment with the Department of Communities & Local Government to replace Leo Boland who has quit to take the top job at the Greater London Authority.
Since September, he has been head of local government improvement, efficiency and transformation at DCLG.
Mr Boland’s switch was announced last November with Barnet appointing its executive director for environment and regeneration Brian Reynolds as acting chief executive.
Mr Walkley will return to the Conservative-controlled council to oversee what could be one of the most dramatic restructurings of a UK local
authority in recent memory.
Barnet outlined plans in December for a massive restructure of its governance which could see the council reduced to a commissioning hub with all services contracted out to other public sector bodies, the private and the voluntary sector.
The council outlined its aims in the Future Shape of the Council report, and has instructed PricewaterhouseCoopers to carry out a six-month£250,000 feasibility study.
Mr Walkley previously worked for Haringey and Lewisham LBCs and held a number of advisory posts including vice-chair of the National Development Graduate Programme for Local Government .