Paralympian and disability advocate Kurt Fearnley has been appointed the new chair of the National Disability Insurance Agency.

The three-time Paralympic gold medallist will be the first person with a disability to chair the board of the agency, which oversees the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The government also named experienced bureaucrat Rebecca Falkingham as the new chief executive of the agency.

Fearnley said it was important the agency's participants could see themselves in its leadership

Fearnley has won over 40 marathons, including in New York, Chicago and London in a career spanning more than 20 years.

In 2009, he crawled the Kokoda track in Papua New Guinea to raise awareness of men's health. He was the New South Wales Australian of the Year for 2019.

He said he wanted people with disabilities to know all the "bumps and bruises and the fights" that came from advocacy would help improve the organisation.

"Trust in the organisation itself is a visceral thing — the scheme cannot be a success without trust, and that is built over a period of time," he said.