Helen McEwan was named chief pensions officer at Universities Superannuation Scheme effective April 1, a spokesman said.
Ms. McEwan will replace Kevin Smith, who retired in 2018.
Ms. McEwan is responsible for business and operational strategy, pension product development and delivery, operations, participant communications and client engagement at the £64 billion ($85 billion) pension fund for academic staff employed by British universities. Ms. McEwan will oversee both the defined benefit and defined contribution sections of the fund.
"This is a critical role, so I am delighted we have been able to appoint someone of (Ms. McEwan's) caliber and experience, who will add great value to our executive team and who will be able to build on the high standard of service that our pensions team already provides to our participants," USS Group CEO Bill Galvin said in a news release.
Ms. McEwan was previously non-executive director at the Exeter, a health-care and income-protection insurance provider.