The appointment was made after the current Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police was picked from a field of strong candidates.
Home Secretary Theresa May said: ‘I am delighted to announce Keith Bristow as the new head of the National Crime Agency.
‘For too long we have lacked a strong, collaborative national response in the fight for criminal justice. The NCA will make the UK a more hostile environment for serious and organised crime and strengthen our border.
‘In his new role, Keith Bristow will develop an agency of powerful operational crime fighters who will ensure those who commit serious and organised crime are tracked down, pursued and brought to justice.
‘Keith Bristow will be the NCA’s first operational head and will play a vital role in developing the new agency.’
Warwickshire Chief Constable Keith Bristow said: ‘The NCA will protect communities and individuals from harm by tackling serious, organised and complex crime.
‘In partnership with other law enforcement agencies we will ensure that criminals are identified, pursued and brought to justice; their groups dismantled and their activities disrupted. We will do even more to strip away their illegally obtained assets.
‘Officers and staff from existing agencies that will become part of the NCA are already working hard to tackle serious, organised and complex crime and new approaches and capabilities will become operational before 2013 to cut crime and protect our borders.
‘I shall be working closely with Chief Constables, leaders of other law-enforcement organisations, Police Authorities, Police and Crime Commissioners and the government to ensure that the NCA delivers the maximum protection possible for communities within the resources it has available.’