Jo Tanner joins the trade body after more than two years as chief executive of the Coalition for Medical Progress, an advocacy organisation for animal research.
The FTA represents the transport interests of UK industry by road, rail, sea and air. Its 14,000 members operate 220,000 goods vehicles.
Tanner takes up the post in July and will report to FTA MD, policy and comms, James Hookham. She succeeds FTA director of external affairs Geoff Dossetter, who retires in September.
'We want to get the logistics and supply chain in the public arena and enjoying the same political sympathy that other sectors enjoy,' said Hookham.