Mr Bennett, who takes up his appointment next month, is currently a part-time policy officer for SOLACE Scotland. He is also a research fellow at the Scottish local authorities management centre in the University of Strathclyde.
Director general David Clark, who conducted a widescale recruitment search, said: 'It didn't even cross our minds that part of this appointment could be to join together the greater part of our family in England and Scotland as well. He will do things for SOLACE that I can't do and we will be a great team.'
Mr Bennett said his appointment would help strengthen the organisation's capacity to be at the forefront of shaping government policy. His remit includes making SOLACE a stronger policy outfit to help set agendas rather than just respond to one.