Councillor Sameem Ali has become the first British Asian councillor to hold an Executive position in the council.
She has taken over the role of Executive Member for Employment and Skills.
Previously Assistant Member for Employment and Skills she will hold the post of Executive Member until May 2011.
Councillor Ali has been a councillor for Moss Side since 2007.
She is a well known campaigner on forced marriages and is the council's lead spokesperson on the issue. As a victim of a forced marriage aged 13, she has written a book, Belonging, about her experiences and has also won Fusion Woman of the Year award in 2009 for her work on this.
Sameem sat on the young people's scrutiny committee, with the aim of ensuring young people are able to express themselves and achieve their goals.
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council said: "Sameem has served as a very able assistant in the employment and skills portfolio and is an ideal candidate for the post. She will bring a wealth of experience to the executive team."
Councillor Sameem Ali said: "I am delighted to be given the opportunity to take on this position. In the current economic climate this is an important role ensuring that people across the city have the right skills to gain employment and that they are given the right opportunities to acquire skills that will help them in the future."