Britain's Philip French has been appointed director of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Public Affairs and Social Development through Sport Department, it has been announced today.
He joins from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), where he was director of Public Policy and International Relations, having also held roles with the English Premier League and the British Government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
It comes as the IOC continues to prioritise the use of sport for wider development, having entered into a number of partnerships with the United Nations and its Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
An emergency fund of $2 million (£1.3 million/€1.8 million) has also been made available to National Olympic Committees in recent months to fund programmes aimed at helping refugees.
"The IOC has developed a comprehensive programme using sport as a tool for local socio-economic development and for humanitarian assistance," a statement today explained.
"The PASD is central in defining the strategies for the development and implementation of such grassroots and peace projects around the world, as well as for advocating for the integration of sport and physical activity in national and international policies and programmes.
"It is also responsible for fostering partnerships with a wide range of organisations specialised in development and humanitarian aid, including the agencies of the UN and non-Governmental organisations (NGOs), in a bid to build a better world through sport."
When working for the British Government, French was heavily involved in the London 2012 Olympic Games, while he also played a role in drafting legislation regarding the National Lottery, broadcasting and gambling, among other areas.
He has also served as chief executive of Supporter Trusts, a British non-profit organisation which aims to provide a platform for fans to influence the running of their clubs, as well as acting as a consultant to European football body, UEFA.
"A graduate in Economics with Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Philip French has acquired over his career extensive experience in public affairs, international relations, community development and stakeholder management," today's statement added.
"He is very well acquainted with the world of sport, from both the media and management sides, and will be a valuable addition to the IOC’s team of directors."
He adds to a sizable British presence within the IOC administration, joining the likes of Presidential spokesman, Mark Adams.
French is expected to start his new job on March 1.