Macfarlane, who is deputy head of comms at Brighton and Hove City Council, will take over the running of LGcomms from Simon Jones, who was in post for four years.
Macfarlane promised to be a “proud champion” of local authority comms professionals and to develop the organisation’s offer to members.
She said: “I aim to put diversity at the heart of everything we do to make local government communications stronger, more diverse and more influential.
“We are facing challenges at this time which also bring opportunity across our sector. I will work with the LGcomms team and our partners in the coming months to provide support to our members across the country. I will also work to promote recognition of the exceptional work being carried out at local, regional and national level.”
Macfarlane is joined by Emma Rodgers, strategic manager of comms and marketing at Stoke on Trent City Council, and Danni Clayton, comms and marketing business partner at Leeds City Council, as vice-chairs of LGcomms.
The new chair also paid tribute to the work of her predecessor.
Macfarlane said: “I’m grateful to Simon for all he has done to invigorate LGcomms. Simon has been an excellent chair and will be missed by all the executive committee. He leaves with our thanks for a job well done.”
Jones (below), who announced his decision to step down in January, said it had been a privilege to lead the organisation.
He added: “I hopefully leave the organisation in a strong place at a time when the vital role that local and national public sector communications plays is recognised by all. Alix will bring new ideas and energy into LGcomms to ensure that we remain a champion and advocate for our sector.”
Francis Ingham, director-general of the PRCA and also LGcomms executive director, said the organisation had been transformed under Jones’ leadership, with an expansion in the number of members and the support the organisation offered.
He added: “I look forward to working with Alix as we build on these fantastically strong foundations. The role of LGcomms in… sharing best practice and expertise has never been more essential.”
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