Jeremy Fleming has been named as the new head of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
The former deputy director-general of MI5 will succeed Robert Hannigan, who announced he was giving up the position due to family reasons in January after just two years in the role.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson congratulated the “dedicated public servant” who will take over the role at Easter.
He went on to say that the “skill and ingenuity of the UK intelligence community are critical to defending Britain from cyberattacks, terror plots and other activities that threaten us and our allies”.
Calling his appointment to the organisation “a great privilege”, Mr Fleming also talked about the agency’s “increasingly important role to play in keeping Britain safe in the digital age”.
He said: “From managing cyber risks posed by nation states to preventing terror attacks, keeping our children safe online and supporting our armed forces, the exceptional men and women of GCHQ operate on the new front line of global challenges.”
The new appointment comes as the spy agency has dismissed claims by President Donald Trump that they helped former president Barack Obama to eavesdrop on Trump Tower.
In a rare public statement, GCHQ dismissed the wiretap as “utterly ridiculous” and said the claims “should be ignored”.
Mr Trump later deflected the blame, saying he had only been repeating the claims of “a very talented lawyer on Fox”.
The White House went on to assure Number 10 it would not repeat the GCHQ wiretapping claims, for which no proof has so far been supplied.