Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans has been elected unopposed as president of the party.
She will take over from Dafydd Iwan, who stands down in September, becoming the party's first woman president.
Before moving into European politics 11 years ago, she was a county councillor for seven years in Rhondda Cynon Taf, where she still lives.
She has served as Plaid's vice president since 2004.
In recent years the role of party president has provided the party with an important link with grassroots members.
She will take over in her new role at Plaid's annual conference at Aberystwyth in September.
She said she wanted to thank Plaid Cymru members "for placing their trust in me".
"The party has made massive strides over the last few years," she said.
"We are entering a very exciting time for Plaid and for Wales. The party is reaching ever higher standards of professionalism and it is important that the new president strengthens the link between our grassroot members, the leadership and the staff.
"As Plaid evolves into a radical party of government, this link is vital for us to grow and achieve our ultimate goals."
She added: "My aim is to build on the excellent work done by Dafydd Iwan and support and motivate Plaid Cymru's greatest asset - its membership."
Born in 1959 in Ystrad in Rhondda, Ms Evans went to Aberystwyth University before working as a research assistant at the former Polytechnic of Wales where she gained her M.Phil. degree.
She worked for the National Federation of Women's Institutes in Wales before taking up a post as Wales regional organiser for CHILD, the national infertility support network.
She is a former chair of Plaid Cymru and and her main political interests are international issues and the environment.