TORONTO - A long-time adviser to Doug Ford and his late brother has been promoted to a key role in the premier's office.

Amin Massoudi has been appointed as Ford's principal secretary, a role that has been vacant since January.

He has been the premier's deputy chief of staff since the Progressive Conservatives took power last year.

Massoudi also worked for Ford during his days as a city councillor and served as director of communications for former Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

The premier's office says Massoudi has played a critical role in improving government services.

The staffing change comes after the departure of Doug Ford's chief of staff Dean French last month in the wake of an appointments scandal.