Alison Larkins has returned to the job of deputy secretary social policy at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
But while in 2016 Larkins acted in the role, she has now been officially appointed to it.
She started in the new job on Monday, the department revealed in Senate estimates.
Larkins has held a range of senior roles in the public service. Previously she was chief operating officer and deputy secretary in the Department of Health.
She also led several divisions in the former Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and has been the acting Commonwealth ombudsman and deputy Commonwealth ombudsman.
More recently Larkins was a principal at the Nous Group, joining in April last year. She was named a national fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia last year.
She replaces Lin Hatfield Dodds, who has moved to the Australia and New Zealand School of Government as an associate dean. Roslyn Baxter was acting in the role in the interim, and appeared in Larkins’ place at estimates so she didn’t have to front the senators on her first day in the job.