She has become head of marketing and external comms, replacing Lynne Stockbridge, who left the charity last summer (PRWeek, 7 July 2006).
Burles was global brand director at whisky maker Glenfiddich until last month, and has held senior marcoms roles at Cadbury Schweppes and Unilever.
She said that after 16 years of working for global food and drinks brands, she had been on the lookout for ‘an exciting brand role in the voluntary sector'.
‘My job is to help push sight-loss up the public and political agenda,' she said. ‘I will be working on the strategic side, planning ways for us to engage with our target audiences.'
She takes charge of a department that covers marketing and PR, and reports to group director of policy and advocacy Sazilet Hardy.
Burles' departure from single malt brand Glenfiddich ends a six-year stint at parent company William Grant & Sons.
Before that, she was head of marketing at Ennis Foods (seller of the Rumblers cereal snack), and was previously European marketing manager for Schweppes.
Her arrival at RNIB gives the charity its first permanent comms chief since Stockbridge left to become director of comms, marketing and policy at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
Janet Morris has since held the role on a six-month interim basis.
The RNIB is one year into a campaign to end preventable sight loss in the UK by 2020 (PRWeek, 27 Jan 2006).