Laura Vallance joined from The Kennel Club last week, after working as public affairs manager there for four years.
Vallance will work with public affairs officer Sarah Astles to deliver a government relations campaign, reporting to director of comms and policy Sarah Johnson.
In addition, JDRF has appointed Louisa Sampson as its new UK press officer. She joins from AxiCom, where she worked on Dell's public sector campaign.
Type 1 diabetes affects about 350,000 people in the UK, including more than 25,000 children. Unlike the more common type 2 diabetes, which can be linked to lifestyle factors like obesity and can often be treated, there is currently no way to prevent or cure type 1.
JDRF argues the condition is at risk of being overlooked because of the Government's current focus on preventable 'lifestyle' illnesses.
In the run up to the general election, JDRF asked more than 250 prospective parliamentary candidates across the three main political parties to recognise type 1 as a separate condition to type 2.
JDRF chief executive Karen Addington said: 'We urge the newly elected government to increase funding for type 1 research so that we can work to find a cure for this life-threatening condition.'