Canada has named a former government security adviser to head the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the first time a civilian has held the post.
William Elliott replaces Giuliano Zaccardelli, who resigned amid criticism in the handling of a terror investigation.
Elliott served as a security adviser to Canada's last two prime ministers.
He has been a top official in the Canadian Public Safety Department and was on the front lines of the country's response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
"He knows what it is to be in a position of extreme crisis and keep a cool head," Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said on Friday.
The appointment of Elliott, who has never been a police officer, represented a sharp break with a tradition that called for the RCMP commissioner to be promoted from within the ranks of the national force.
Zaccardelli stepped down in December as a parliamentary committee looked into a US terror investigation of a Syrian-born Canadian.
An earlier judicial inquiry concluded that US authorities acted on bad information from the RCMP when they detained Maher Arar and then shipped him to Syria in 2002, where he was tortured and falsely confessed to terrorist involvement.
He was released in 2003 and has been cleared of any terrorist connections.
A recent federal government report also linked Zaccardelli to the mishandling of the RCMP's pension and insurance fund.
Special investigator David Brown has concluded high-ranking Mounties covered up problems in the administration of the pension and insurance fund.
The government will not conduct a full-blown inquiry, but has concluded the force needs an overhauled and modernized management structure and likely a civilian oversight body.
Elliott said civilian oversight of the national police force needs to be strengthened.
"I think it's recognized that the mechanisms currently in place are not adequate and improvements have to be made," he said.
Elliott told a news conference that he understands the importance of separating politics from police work.
"There is no doubt that the independence of the RCMP and of the police in a democratic country is absolutely essential and I will certainly guard that ground with vigor," he said.