Mr Dickson will take over in January from Finlay Scott, who has held the post for 15 years.
GMC chairman Professor Peter Rubin welcomed the appointment: ‘The GMC is leading a major programme of regulatory change for doctors - including the introduction of revalidation. This is a challenging time and Niall Dickson is ideal for the job.
‘He brings a wide understanding of the complex issues involved in delivering top quality healthcare in the UK. As a former broadcaster, he also has a strong record in communications, which will be vital in helping us to engage with doctors, patients and the public about the changes which are coming.'
Mr Dickson joined the BBC in 1988 as a health correspondent, before moving on to become its social affairs editor in 1995.
Since 2004 he has been chief executive at the King's Fund.
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