Kezia Dugdale is set to quit frontline politics for a role at Glasgow University’s John Smith Centre.
The former Scottish Labour leader confirmed she will step down from the Scottish Parliament in the summer.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Ms Dugdale said her next task was to “rebuild faith in our politics”.
She said: “It has been an honour to represent the Lothian region for Labour in the Scottish Parliament and to have had the opportunity to serve the party in a variety of roles for over a decade – from party organiser to leader.
“All through that time the passion and commitment of our members has been inspirational.
“No matter how difficult things were, activists were always willing to hit the doorsteps to spread Labour’s message.”
The John Smith Centre for Public Service was established in 2014 and named in memory of the former leader of the UK Labour Party who was an alumnus of the University of Glasgow.
Its aim is to promote a positive vision for representative politics.
She added: “I have devoted my working life to public service and this is an incredibly exciting new opportunity for me to lead the work of the John Smith Centre.
“Throughout my career I have taken on tough and challenging tasks and my next task is to rebuild faith in our politics.”
Ms Dugdale became Scottish Labour leader in August 2015, before stepping down two years later.
She was replaced by Richard Leonard, an ally of UK leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The Lothians MSP has been a long-standing critics of Mr Corbyn and has been disillusioned with her party’s stance on Brexit.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Ms Dugdale would be a “big loss” to both Scottish Labour and the Scottish Parliament.
She added: “I hope she enjoys her new challenge.”
Mr Leonard said: “Kezia will be a loss to the Scottish Labour Party but I am sure she will still play a valuable role in public life going forward.
“Kezia stepped forward at a difficult time for the Scottish Labour Party and on many issues – from arguing to use the tax and social security powers of Holyrood to making the case for federalism, she helped the party rebuild after the devastating losses of the 2015 General Election.
“On behalf of the Scottish Labour party, I thank Kezia for her service and wish her well in the next exciting chapter of her life.”