Will McLeish, a journalist with BBC Scotland, makes the switch next month. He previously worked for the SNP group in the Scottish Parliament between 1999 and 2001.
McLeish will work as a special adviser on communications. His appointment frees up the Government’s main political spokesman and senior adviser on communications, Kevin Pringle, to take on a more strategic role.
Pringle’s new role is similar to that undertaken by Gordon Brown’s special adviser on press Damian McBride.
There are nine special advisers in the Scottish Executive – three fewer than the previous administration.