Ms Wilkinson replaces Olly Robbins, who has recently been appointed as the Permanent Secretary for the Department for Exiting the European Union.
Ms Wilkinson, who will begin work in late August, will have responsibility for immigration policy and oversight of the borders, immigration and citizenship communities. She has held a number of senior posts in the fields of defence and national security, including Director of the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) where she led the delivery of protective security advice for the 2012 Olympics.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said:
I am delighted that Patsy will become our new Second Permanent Secretary. This is a vitally important role, and has become even more so following the EU referendum. Patsys strong background in defence and national security and her proven leadership skills make her ideally suited to take on the challenge.
Permanent Secretary Mark Sedwill said:
Im very pleased to welcome Patsy to the Home Office. Patsy has the capability, leadership and resilience to make a success of this role, which is one of the biggest and most challenging jobs in government. I look forward to working closely with her to keep our country safe and borders secure.
Commenting on her appointment, Ms Wilkinson said:
Im delighted to be joining the Home Office, and to be working on some of the governments top priorities. I am very much looking forward to taking up my new role, working with colleagues in the border and immigration services, across government and our many partner organisations.