Dr Kanani, currently deputy medical director of primary care, replaces Dr Madan on an interim basis with immediate effect.
The south-east London GP has held a range of positions within healthcare as a clinical leader, and was awarded an MBE in 2017 for services to primary care through her work as a GP and as chief clinical officer for NHS Bexley CCG.
Dr Kanani also co-founded The Network, an online community for doctors, health professionals and medical students who want to improve the quality of healthcare.
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, said: ‘GPs and primary care are vital to the success of the NHS and Nikki will provide consistency in leadership as we develop the long-term plan for the health service in the coming months.’
Dr Madan's resignation
Dr Madan resigned late last week after BMA leaders hit out at online posts he made under a pseudonym, which appeared to dismiss concerns over the closure of small practices.
More than 900 GP practices have closed or merged over the past five years, GPonline analysis of data from NHS Digital show, with average list sizes rising by almost 20% to 8,279.
In a statement published on Sunday, Dr Madan wrote: 'It is clear to me that, sadly, I have lost the confidence of some of my colleagues, and I have therefore decided to resign my NHS England position.
'As part of my attempts to challenge the negative views – and even conspiracy theories – held by a small but vocal minority in the profession I posted on an anonymous online forum used by GPs. It was never my intention to cause offence but rather to provoke a more balanced discussion about contentious issues acting as a devil’s advocate.’
NHS England said they would be advertising externally to find a permanent replacement for Dr Madan after the summer break.