Lynne Williams has been appointed principal of Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
She will replace Barry Ife, who is stepping down from the post after 12 years to focus on teaching and research.
Williams joins the London-based school from Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art, where she has been director and chief executive since 2008.
Previous positions have included cultural adviser and creative producer for London's Olympic bid, and she later led development on the culture, ceremonies and education programme at the 2012 Games.
She described Guildhall as "one of the great conservatoires of the world", and added: "I am excited to be joining the team and the wider Guildhall community to build on this prestigious reputation at a time when excellence and innovation in arts education and training has never been so crucial to ensuring a creative and cultural future for 21st-century society."
Williams will take up the post in early 2017.
Guildhall board chairman John Bennett said: "We are delighted that Lynne Williams is joining the Guildhall school at this exciting time in the school’s life. The next few years will see significant opportunities as well as challenges for the higher education sector, and for culture and the performing arts in the City of London and beyond."