Ketteringham joined the Alzheimer's Society on Monday, having left the GMC's director of policy and corporate affairs position in July after six years.
His hire will be a boost to the charity, which has been seeking a permanent replacement since Joe Crosbie returned to New Zealand after a year in the role (PRWeek, 3 March).
Ex-Countryside Agency comms director Jill Rawlins filled the role on an interim basis, but has left and is now interim comms director at drug charity Addaction.
Ketteringham's remit is to raise the profile of the society in a bid to ensure dementia is treated as a national healthcare priority.
He takes charge of a 12-strong comms team, reporting to chief executive Neil Hunt. He also sits on the charity's senior management board. He will barely have time to get his feet under the table before the society learns the result of its appeal against NICE's decision to restrict drugs to some Alzheimer's sufferers.
NICE has been at loggerheads with The Action on Alzheimer's Drugs alliance - an umbrella group comprising 30 organisations and led by the Alzheimer's Society - since March 2005. A final decision on the high-profile appeal is expected within weeks.
The GMC restructured its comms function after Ketteringham's exit, hiring Charles Kennedy's former press secretary Jackie Rowley to a redefined director of communications role (PRWeek, 14 July).