Stephen Henwood was managing director of Tate & Lyle distribution services and director of finance and planning for Tate & Lyle Sugars before joining BAE Systems, where he worked as a divisional group managing director until 2006.
He will take up his new two days per week role at the NDA on March 1 in addition to the other non-executive director roles he holds at Nord Anglia Education, Hampson Industries and Lost Wax Media.
Announcing the appointment Business Secretary John Hutton said: "This is a significant appointment and I am confident that Stephen Henwood's extensive commercial and financial experience will be invaluable in the next critical phases of the NDA's efforts to clean up the UK's nuclear legacy."
The NDA's budget was recently confirmed to have risen to £73bn from the £56bn estimate of 2003 as the scope of the works needed to shut down Britain's ageing nuclear power plants has become more clear.
Henwood's appointment will last for three years with an annual salary of £200,000.