His appointment also comes as Oxfam campaigns to put fair trade and eradication of poverty at the top of the Government’s agenda during its presidency of the EU and hosting of the G8 summit.
McKinney, who began his career as a political researcher for Gordon Brown in the 1980s, left Scottish TV in September and will become head of media next week.
Oxfam is asking the public to wear white bands as a symbol of support for the Make Poverty History campaign, which is backed by 100 charities.
McKinney replaces Paul Mylrea, who left to become Transport for London head of group media last year, reporting to campaigns and policy director Becky Buell.
NGO Watch, p8