Professor Ralston, who was executive director of the Australian Centre for Financial Studies from January 2009 to July 2015, will join the SMSF Association board on 1 July 2016.
She has held a number of leadership positions at Australian universities and is also an experienced researcher and published author, a statement by the SMSF Association said.
She has approximately 20 years' experience as a non-executive director on public and private sector boards.
"SMSFs, with about 30 per cent of funds under management in superannuation, represent two areas that interest me enormously – post-retirement solutions and innovation, with the latter aligning with my keen interest in fintech – and I look forward to being part of the future direction of the association," said Professor Ralston.
"There can be no argument [that] SMSFs' use of technology has reduced costs, making them much more viable for people with lower superannuation balances, which is why we see a real change in SMSF demographics with more young people establishing them," she said.
"I am confident this superannuation sector will continue to flourish, and I am keen to contribute, especially in my areas of policy interest."
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