Former South Down MLA John McCallister has been appointed to the Human Rights Commission.
He was one of a number of new commissioners named by Secretary of State James Brokenshire on Wednesday, including Graham Shields, a former chief electoral officer for Northern Ireland.
Mr McCallister had been an Ulster Unionist representative, even running for leadership in 2012, but he left to help set up a new party - NI21.
Along with fellow UUP Assembly member Basil McCrea, he sought to establish an alternative to green and orange-tinted politics in Northern Ireland.
The party was short-lived, though, and the pair fell out, with McCallister resigning his role.
He lost his constituency seat, running as an independent candidate in the May 2016 election, but not before successfully guiding a private members bill through the house that paved the way for a Stormont opposition.
Chief commissioner Les Allamby welcomed the new commissioners who he said would, "join us at a crucial period.
"The protection and promotion of human rights is vital in these uncertain political times," he said.
The six new part-time commissioners also include Helen Ferguson, a former director, Helena Macormac, a lawyer, Paul Mageean, a director, and Edmond Rooney, a retired civil servant.