Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust, has been named as chief executive designate of Public Health England.
The new body will be established in April 2013. It will support local health services to take over the bulk of responsibility for public health from primary care trusts and jointly appoint their directors of public health.
It will also be directly responsible for overseeing national health protection, public health information and intelligence, and services for the public through social marketing and behavioural insight activities.
Mr Selbie will take up his post no later than 1 July 2012. He will receive a salary of between £180,000 and £185,000.
Mr Selbie has spent the past five years at Brighton and Sussex, where he has overseen it pay off its historic debts and found a new medical school. It is currently in the process of securing public funds for a major capital project ahead of its submission to become a foundation trust in 2013.
He said: “I do not in any way underestimate the challenge this presents. By getting this right, I believe Public Health England will make a unique and extremely positive contribution to the public’s health alongside local government and the NHS.”
Prior to joining Brighton and Sussex, Mr Selbie was Department of Health director general of programmes and performance from 2003 to 2007.
He has also held chief executive roles at the South East London Strategic Health Authority and the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust.
He recently served on the NHS Future Forum and contributed specifically to the education and training working group.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: “Mr Selbie’s role will be to take forward the plans to establish Public Health England and its structure and provide strategic leadership and vision for the protection and improvement of the nation’s health.
“This is an incredibly crucial position which carries significant responsibilities and I look forward to him bringing his characteristics of leadership, independence and strategic direction to the role.”