David Maguire will take the helm at the institution when its current leader, Baroness Blackstone, retires in September.
Professor Maguire, pro vice-chancellor for corporate development at Birmingham City University, is an expert in computer mapping and geographic information systems. At Birmingham City, he is responsible for research and enterprise.
Commenting on his appointment, Professor Maguire said: “I am thrilled to be joining Greenwich because it represents everything that’s good about UK higher education: it is built on strong foundations, with a long-standing history; it has excellent staff and a diverse student body; and it has a forward-thinking board and leadership team, with bold ambitions for the future. I share their confidence and look forward to working with colleagues to continue to enhance the standing of the institution by concentrating on quality and excellence in teaching and learning, in research and enterprise, and in engagement with local communities.”
Sir Stuart Etherington, chairman of the university court, said it was “an outstanding” appointment.
“He brings us a unique combination of high-level experience in both education and business. He is incisive and analytical and I know that he will help us to achieve our goal of becoming the most successful modern university in London.”
Professor Maguire is a keen squash player and has also played electric guitar in an amateur rock band.
Baroness Blackstone, a Labour peer and a former minister of state for education and employment, has led Greenwich for seven years.