Keith Barnes, the former regional director of the Government Office for the North West, has been appointed as the University of Salford's executive pro-vice-chancellor.
Barnes will have a special responsibility for strategic partnerships and development, reporting to the vice-chancellor.
Barnes said: "Salford has a rich tradition of working with businesses and community in the region. Salford's investment in the digital sector with Media City UK and in the development of its campus demonstrate to me that this is a university with a significant future."
Prior to his role with the GONW, Barnes was chief executive of Thurrock Council in Essex. He is also a former chairman of Manchester Airport. He also chairs the Groundwork Trust and is a board member of Harvest Housing.