Will Day will take over from the current Chair Jonathan Porrit on 27 July.
Day said: I am delighted to be asked to Chair the SDC. I take this on at a time of growing public and political understanding of the immense social and environmental pressures that are building up around the world and that affect us all. These realities will require thoughtful and decisive action by government at all levels, business and our wider society.
Days previous roles in his career have been the chief executive of Care International, Chairman of the BBC Children in Need, senior advisor to the United Nations Development Programmes
Growing Business Initiative and the Chairman of the Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor.
Environment secretary Hilary Benn said: I look forward very much to working with Will in his new and important role. I would like to thank Jonathan Porrit, the outgoing Chair, for his enormous contribution over the last nine years.
The SDC is the Governments independent advisory group on sustainable development. It considers economic, environmental and social impacts when helping to develop Government policy. Not only does it report to the Prime Minister but also, the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland.