Ward has been appointed director of the Government Communication Network, reporting directly to permanent secretary for communication Howell James.
Ward replaces Lyn Salisbury - one of Whitehall's most senior PROs. Sailsbury will retire in Easter after 37 years in Whitehall PR.
Cabinet Office director of comms Sue Jenkins left earlier this year for the department's Corporate Development Group.
It has not yet been decided if she will be replaced.