The group said Alison Wood would become an independent non-executive director from 1 July. She will also become a member of the company’s audit committee and receive an annual fee of £75,500.
Wood, who holds a degree from the University of Oxford and an MBA from Harvard Business School, began her career with management consultancy Booz Allen & Hamilton, followed by Outram Cullinan & Company, before moving to BAE Systems.
After 17 years with the defence giant, Wood moved to National Grid as global director of strategy and corporate development. In 2011, she joined the board of Cobham as a non-executive director, where she currently chairs the remuneration committee. Wood will be retiring from the Cobham board by the end of 2019.
Cairn chairman Ian Tyler said: “Alison brings with her a wealth of public company and energy market experience.
“Her appointment will be an important asset to the board, adding to its strength and depth as we continue our material exploration programme and look forward to additional sustained production and cash flow generation over the long term.”