Tania Banotti has been appointed director of Creative Ireland, the government initiative to "place creativity at the centre of public policy".
Ms Banotti takes up the role after more than five years as chief executive of the advertising trade body the Institute for Advertising Practitioners in Ireland (IAPI). She was credited with reinvigorating the body during her time in charge.
She replaces John Concannon, who moved late last year to become director of the strategic communications unit in the Department of the Taoiseach.
In a note to the advertising industry, Ms Banotti described Creative Ireland as "a massively ambitious project". Before joining IAPI, she was chief executive of Theatre Forum Ireland and she previously held a number of other roles in the arts.
Creative Ireland was launched by former minister for arts Heather Humphreys in late 2016. A report listing different ways in which the State might develop the creative industries in Ireland included making Ireland a “global hub” for the production film and television drama. Giving funds to local bodies to encourage creativity in young people is also a key part of the scheme.
The vacancy notice for the director role said the task of Creative Ireland was to “mainstream creativity in the life of the nation so that individually and collectively, Ireland can realise its full creative potential”.
Budget 2018 increased the budget for Creative Ireland to €8.5 million, with €4.4 million having been spent on the project from its inception until December 2017.