Sue Smith has been recognised for her services to local government.
Yvonne Rees, the current chief executive for both councils, said: “Over the last few months as chief executive I have heard so much about the passion and dedication Sue Smith had for the communities she served.
“Her vision and determination have resulted in significant change which has had a true, tangible impact on the residents of both districts and left a lasting legacy for us to build upon. I’d like to extend my whole-hearted congratulations on this well-deserved honour.”
Mrs Smith’s career in local government began as a recreation assistant at Anglesey Borough Council in 1979.
She moved up the ranks across four other councils before leaving her post as chief executive of Harborough District Council in 2011 to become the first joint chief executive of Cherwell District and South Northamptonshire Councils.
As joint chief executive she oversaw a major transformation of both councils which entailed sharing services to cut out duplication as well as housing expansion in Brackley.