David Behan has been appointed as the new chief executive of care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Behan, the current director general for social care, local government and care partnerships at the Department of Health, will take up his new role in July. He will replace Cynthia Bower, who announced her resignation in February. Behan has an illustrious history in social care. Prior to his current role he was chief inspector of the Commission for Social Care Inspection, the predecessor of the CQC. He has also served as president of the Association of Directors of Social Services and as director of Social Services for Greenwich, Middlesbrough and Cleveland Councils.

Dame Jo Williams, chair of the CQC, said: "I'm delighted to confirm David as our new chief executive. The quality of applicants was exceptionally strong, but David's combination of frontline and regulatory experience, coupled with his commitment to making a difference for people who use services, made him an outstanding candidate. “His clarity of vision and strong track record on delivery will be crucial to driving forward the next stage of CQC's development - as we continue to build on the progress already made, delivering increasing benefits to the health and social care system through our essential role in tackling poor care. I and my board very much look forward to working with him." Behan added that he was “greatly looking forward” to the challenge of his new role. “I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to lead the organisation that takes action where services are poor and unsafe, whilst providing assurance that our health and care services are fit to achieve quality and outcomes for people which are amongst the best in the world.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, chief executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, welcomed Behan's appointment. “David’s breadth of knowledge about social care and regulation, combined with his experience within the Department of Health, will be a real asset for CQC. David is well-known and well-respected. SCIE and the whole social care sector will be delighted that someone with his understanding of social care has been given this important role. His appointment will help to build confidence in CQC’s contribution to driving up quality.”