The former head of the Health Service Executive, Paul Reid, has been appointed as Chairperson of the Citizens' Assembly on Drugs Use.
The appointment was made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
Mr Reid announced last June he was stepping down from the HSE to spend more time with his family.
The Citizens' Assembly will examine and make recommendations on the legislative, policy and operational changes the State could make to "significantly reduce the harmful impacts of illicit drugs."
It will be made up of 100 members - including Mr Reid - and 99 members of the general public, who will be chosen through a random selection process.
Over the coming week, 20,000 households around Ireland will receive letters inviting someone from the household to apply to join the assembly.
From the applications received, the final 99 will be chosen based on their age profile, gender and location.
On his appointment, Mr Reid said: "I am delighted to have been appointed by the Taoiseach as Chairperson of the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use.
"The problems associated with drugs use in Ireland affect us all, directly or indirectly.
"Previous assemblies have shown that members of the general public have an important contribution to make to tackling complex societal problems, and I expect that the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use will be no different".
Announcing the appointment, Mr Varadkar said: "Paul has vast leadership experience and a successful track record as CEO of the Health Services Executive and Fingal County Council.
"I am confident he will be an excellent choice as Chairperson of the Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use," he added.
Its first meeting is scheduled to take place on April 14th, and it is due to complete its work by the end of the year.