Professor Alexis Jay is to take over as chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced.
The child protection expert will become the fourth person to lead the probe after the resignation of Dame Lowell Goddard last week.
Professor Jay previously led an inquiry that revealed at least 1,400 children were subjected to sexual exploitation in Rotherham.
Ms Rudd said: "The Independent Inquiry has a vital role to play in exposing the failure of public bodies and other major organisations to prevent systematic child sexual abuse.
"I'm delighted Professor Alexis Jay has agreed to chair the Inquiry. She has a strong track record in uncovering the truth and I have no doubt she will run this independent Inquiry with vigour, compassion and courage.
"Let there be no doubt; our commitment to this Inquiry is undiminished.
"We owe it to victims and survivors to confront the appalling reality of how children were let down by the very people who were charged to protect them and to learn from the mistakes of the past."
Prof Jay will take over as head of the inquiry having already served as a member of a four-person panel to assist the chair.
She said: "I am committed to ensuring this Inquiry does everything it has set out to do and does so with pace, with confidence and with clarity.
"Be in no doubt - the Inquiry is open for business and people are busier than ever working hard to increase momentum.
"The panel and I are determined to make progress on all parts of the Inquiry's work, including speaking to victims and survivors.
"I am determined to overcome the challenges along the way.
"I will lead the largest public inquiry of its kind and together with my fellow panel members we will fearlessly examine institutional failures, past and present and make recommendations so that the children of England and Wales are better protected now and in the future."