Chair of HLF Sir Peter Luff said: "Ros Kerslake has a rich background in heritage and an impressive commitment to the role it plays in making people's lives better. She is the perfect choice to lead HLF and as a successful applicant for funding, she knows how the organisation feels to those who seek National Lottery support.
"Ros will join HLF at an exciting time, delivering new schemes to support skills, young people and resilience in the sector. She has the experience and enthusiasm to provide a clear vision and leadership for HLF's highly dedicated staff, supporting our heritage and the role it plays in transforming communities across the UK.
"As we welcome Ros, we wish Carole Souter every success in her new roles. Every part of the heritage world owes Carole a huge debt of gratitude. She has led HLF with skill and commitment and has enabled wonderful things to happen in every corner of the UK."
Kerslake said: "It is an enormous honour to be asked to lead an organisation which plays such a crucial role in supporting heritage all around the United Kingdom. Ensuring that the funds raised through the contributions of National Lottery players are used in a way that delivers real value to the community as a whole is a challenge that I take up with huge pleasure.
"I am stepping into very big shoes in taking over from Carole but I am looking forward very much to working with the exceptional team that she has established and to leading HLF on the next stage of its journey."
Kerslake trained as a solicitor and started her career in legal roles before taking on wider leadership positions in the private sector, including for Gulf Oil and Booker Group. As property director of Railtrack, she developed an interest in the issues around place and urban regeneration which have characterised her roles since. Kerslake went on to lead RegenCo – an urban regeneration company in the West Midlands - where she was the first CEO.
Among her achievements at The Prince's Regeneration Trust, Kerslake led the team that saved one of the last working Victorian potteries in the UK, Middleport Pottery, bringing new life and business to the restored site.
She currently sits on the Heritage Alliance Board, and chairs the Regeneration Leaders Network. Kerslake was awarded an OBE in this year's New Year's Honours list for services to British heritage.
Ian Marcus, Chair of The Prince's Regeneration Trust, said: "Under Ros's outstanding leadership over the past 10 years The Prince's Regeneration Trust has delivered an enormous contribution to the heritage of this country including the multi-award winning rescue of Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent. We are very sorry to see her leave but wish her well in her new and vital role and are delighted her unique skills and experiences will still be available to the heritage world."