Professor Deborah Ralston, who was executive director of the Australian Centre for Financial Studies (ACFS) from January 2009 to July 2015, joins the board effective from 1 July.
Professor Ralston has held a number of leadership positions at Australian universities. She is also an experienced researcher and published author.
She has approximately 20 years' experience as a non-executive director on public and private sector boards.
"SMSFs, with about 30 per cent of funds under management in superannuation, represent two areas that interest me enormously – post-retirement solutions and innovation, with the latter aligning with my keen interest in fintech – and I look forward to being part of the future direction of the association," said Professor Ralston.
"There can be no argument [that] SMSFs' use of technology has reduced costs, making them much more viable to people with lower superannuation balances, which is why we see a real change in SMSF demographics with more young people establishing them," she added.
"I am confident this superannuation sector will continue to flourish, and I am keen to contribute, especially in my areas of policy interest."