Ian takes over permanently from Bob Satchwell, who is stepping down due to ill health after 18 years in the role.
Ian, left, took on the role of deputy executive director at the SoE in April after Bob was taken ill.
He had left the Southampton-based Echo after 19 years at the helm the previous month.
Paying tribute to Bob, who had served as the SoE’s executive director since its foundation in 1999, Ian said: “This is a great honour to take over the executive arm of the Society, but terribly big shoes to step into.
“Bob Satchwell has been a towering force for good in our industry, fighting tenaciously for a free press and broadcast media, freedom of expression and the public’s right to know.
“He will be a tremendously difficult act to follow and our industry owes him a huge debt of thanks.”
Ian began his career in 1979 with Berrows Newspapers in the West Midlands and, after working on weekly and daily newspapers in Birmingham and the Black Country, joined the newsdesk of the Bournemouth Echo eventually becoming its managing editor.
He was appointed editor of the Southern Daily Echo in 1998 and later added a number of weeklies to his portfolio as Newsquest’s editor in chief for Hampshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.
Ian joined the Society of Editors at its founding and has been a member of its board since 2010.
Bob started his career in journalism at the Lancashire Evening Post in 1970.
He was Journalist of the Year in the British Press Awards in 1977 then went to work at the heart of Fleet Street as assistant editor for the News of the World
He was editor of the Cambridge Evening News from 1984 to 98 and is a former member of the NCTJ board.