The former Defra deputy director for animal traceability and public health is set to leave her job working as the New South Wales CVO to take on the role on March 1 next year.
Ms Middlemiss will replace Nigel Gibbens as he comes to the end of his 10-year stint in the job.
She said: “I am delighted to have been appointed and it will be a privilege to lead my veterinary colleagues to support our farming and food industry in this hugely important role.
“I am very much looking forward to working again with the team at Defra, its agencies, the devolved administrations and all the individuals and groups which will contribute to meet future challenges across animal health and welfare.
“The UK government has made no secret it wants to cement its place as a world-leader on animal welfare as they leave the European Union, and I am delighted to have an opportunity to play a part in that.”
Out-going CVO Mr Gibbens said he was ‘certain’ Ms Middlemiss would be a great addition to the department and lead the way in delivering the government’s ongoing commitment to maintaining high animal health and welfare standards.
Animal Welfare minister Lord Gardiner said her experience and enthusiasm would be ‘invaluable’ to the team.
He championed Mr Gibbens for his contribution: “I thank Nigel Gibbens for his outstanding contribution as CVO over the past ten years.
“Leaving the department at the end of February, he is hugely respected across the veterinary community and beyond – leading on responses to disease outbreaks including avian influenza and advising government on issues from antimicrobial resistance to animal welfare.”
British Veterinary Association (BVA) president John Fishwick added: “As Christine notes, she will take up her role amidst EU Exit negotiations when the vital role veterinary surgeons play in so many areas of political and public life must be championed and considered more than ever.
“The work of all vets in government is indispensable in protecting and promoting animal health and welfare and public health, and current UK CVO Nigel Gibbens CBE has been crucial in steering this with calm direction and sage insight from the heart of government.”