Mark Kristmanson is the National Capital Commission's new CEO, minister John Baird announced Monday.

​Kristmanson said he plans to work collaboratively with Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, who last week asked the federal government to make the NCC more democratic with representatives of Ottawa-Gatineau on its board of directors.

"Obviously this is my first day in this role at the commission so I'll be being briefed on all of these matters, but one thing I'll say is I look forward to working collaboratively with both mayors, and working together to achieve positive results for the capital," Kristmanson said.

The new CEO has been working with the NCC since 2004. He said he's led "major projects" including the Canada Day celebrations, the Mosaika sound and light show on Parliament Hill, Winterlude and national monuments for the navy, fallen diplomats, the War of 1812 and the Holocaust.

Kristmanson was the 2011 Canada-United States Fulbright visiting research chair in public diplomacy at the University of Southern California, where his research focused on the role of cities in international relations, according to a media release. He was the founding executive director of the New Brunswick Arts Board, has served as a member of federal interdepartmental committees and was an expert adviser to the Cultural Capitals of Canada program at Canadian Heritage.

Baird made the announcement at the Lester B. Pearson building. He said he hopes Kristmanson will reach out to Watson and Pedneaud-Jobin, as well as federal MPs in the capital.

"We're not interested in a political fight [or] a political battle," said Baird.

"I know Mark and everyone at the NCC literally in recent years have passed hundreds of things that both cities need. From time to time there's an honest difference of opinion and there's nothing wrong with that," said Baird.

Jean-François Trépanier had been serving as interim CEO since Sept. 25, 2012, after former CEO Marie Lemay stepped down to become an associate deputy minister.