Graham Shields succeeds Douglas Bain, who is due to retire in October 2010. The appointment will be for a five year term.
Announcing the new appointment, Owen Paterson said: “The Chief Electoral Officer plays a vital role in ensuring public participation and confidence in the electoral process in Northern Ireland. I am delighted that we have found someone of Graham Shield’s calibre to succeed Douglas Bain.
“I pay tribute to the work of Douglas Bain, who has served Northern Ireland as Chief Electoral Officer for 4 years with commitment and integrity. During his tenure he has overseen the conduct of several major elections in Northern Ireland and introduced a number of successful initiatives which have significantly improved registration levels. I wish him well in his retirement.”
Mr Shield’s appointment will take effect from 11 October 2010.