Hulme joins at a crucial time for the NLGN's promotion of 'new localism', given the Government's desire for greater devolution.
'The challenge in this role is to make the subject of de-centralisation attractive to a wider audience outside Whitehall and to look at how to engage people at a local level,' he said.
Hulme will also be tasked with making local government appear less complicated and bureaucratic, with regard to service delivery and policy, he added.
He leaves the Citizens' Advice Bureau after two and a half years in the post. He replaces Ian Parker, who left to join public affairs agency LLM Communications last month (PRWeek, 24 February).
The New Local Government Network is funded by local authorities, regional development agencies and a number of corporate partners, including Tesco. It has been a strong advocate of city academies and elected mayors.
Recent research projects include reports into how local government can harness mobile technology.
Hulme reports to director Chris Leslie and has a team of two staff.