The new Secretary of Defence will bring "valuable skills and experience" to the job, Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman has said.
The State Services Commissioner announced today that Helene Quilter will take over the role from December 1.
"I am very pleased with Helene Quilter's appointment. She is well qualified for the job," said Coleman.
Quilter is currently Deputy Commissioner at the State Services Commission, where she leads the central agency team responsible for Defence White Paper reforms.
"One of her current roles with the State Services Commission is managing the performance expectations of Chief Executives in Foreign Affairs, Defence, Justice and intelligence agencies," said Coleman.
Quilter is replacing the current Secretary of Defence, John McKinnon, who is moving to a new role as executive director of the Asia New Zealand Foundation.
"It has been a pleasure working with John McKinnon who has had an exemplary career with the public service," said Coleman.
"His depth of knowledge and experience will be missed but we wish him the best for his new appointment."
The Secretary of Defence is in charge of the Ministry of Defence and is the government's principal civilian advisor with responsibilities for policy advice, acquisition of equipment, and assessment and audit.