Caroline Wright joins the 'next generation HR programme', led from the Cabinet Office. She will be conveying the programme to 500,000 civil and public servants.
A press statement from DfE explained that the programme is aimed at 'transforming HR and people management across the civil service by reducing costs and improving service delivery'.
Wright is expected to work in the role for at least a year. A DfE spokesman said she will 'probably' return to DfE once the project is completed.
Wright reports to head of civil service HR Gill Rider and will work closely with permanent secretary for government communications Matt Tee.
Wright has worked at the DfE, known under Labour as the Department for Children, Schools and Families, for four years. She also worked as head of comms for the Department for Trade and Industry.
The DfE will appoint an interim comms director until a permanent member is agreed.