The signature hire was unveiled this afternoon and will see Ward take over from Tom McDonald, who departed to Nat Geo earlier this year.
Ward will oversee a portfolio that includes the prolific Natural History Unit, which recently opened an LA office, along with the Docs, Science and Factual Units. She will also look after the factual indies BBC Studios has stakes in, such as Louis Theroux’s Mindhouse Productions and Rogan Productions.
BBC Studios Productions CEO Ralph Lee hailed her “infectious passion for great documentary storytelling and a deep understanding of the content market.”
“Our Factual portfolio, with the Natural History, Docs and Science units at its heart and a range of brilliant indie partners, is critical to our success and growth,” he added.
Ward has been president of Vice Studios for nearly three years and took on responsibility for Gangs of London producer Pulse Films upon founding duo Thomas Benski and Marissa Clifford’s departures, at which point Vice took full control of the indie.
She oversaw the likes of Academy Award-nominated Flee, Hulu’s Tell Me Lies and FX doc Pride. Prior to joining Vice, she was President, International of Refinery29.
Ward said: “Appetite for factual programming from both audiences and broadcasters alike continues to boom and I’m hugely excited to be part of Factual at BBC Studios as it is set to reach even greater height.”