The post boasts responsibility for communication with the FCO's 16,000 staff – based across 220 countries – at a time when the UK's foreign policy is under scrutiny.
Clarke – currently reporting to director of strategy and information Sarah Kline – has held the post of head of internal comms for a year, and leaves the FCO after seven years.
She joined as head of TV and radio, rising to head of strategy and campaigns. She was previously CEO of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and was features controller at Westcountry Television. On her new role as head of Sport England's corporate comms, she said: ‘I am passionate about sport; this job is particularly focused on community sport.'
Clarke is the third senior figure to leave the FCO since March. Director of communications John Williams left after six years in June (PRWeek, 9 June). Deputy director of comms Peter Reid left in March after two years (PRWeek, 31 March). The moves are unconnected, according to Clarke.
She joins Sport England on 7 August. Leading a team of seven, she will take responsibility for internal and external comms, PA, publications and the internet.
‘It is a particularly exciting time to join us with the 2012 Olympics on its way,' said a spokeswoman.
Sport England retains Financial Dynamics for corporate communications. It uses Hill & Knowlton for consumer work.