Beijing-friendly politician Shiu Sin-por is expected to take the helm of the Central Policy Unit, the government's top think tank.
Shiu has been a member of the unit since 2007 and is a Hong Kong delegate to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
He will succeed Professor Lau Siu-kai, who stepped down last month after a 10-year stint, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Meanwhile, Professor Wong Chack-kie, assistant director of Chinese University's Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, is expected to be appointed an adviser to the think tank.
The unit has been preparing the documents for their appointments in the past two weeks and is still looking for two more people to fill other vacancies.
Shiu, who was executive director of the One Country Two Systems Research Institute before joining the government, has close ties with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who is a former chairman of the institute's board of directors.
Dr Chan Kin-man, an associate professor in Chinese University's department of sociology, said Shiu was known for his hardline and conservative political stance.
'From discussions with Shiu, he does not recognise the pressing need for political reform and improving governance,' Chan said. 'I'm worried that many intellectuals would be further alienated from the Leung administration following Shiu's appointment.'
But Tam Yiu-chung, chairman of the Beijing-friendly Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, described Shiu as a suitable candidate to lead the unit given his experience in policy research.
Shiu could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Wong, also a social work professor, advised Leung on welfare policy during his election campaign.
He has said that a boost of up to HK$7 billion in annual welfare spending could go towards improving care for the elderly and the needy under the Leung administration.
Wong said of his expected appointment: 'If there is such an offer for me, I would be pleased to accept it, as I am willing to serve the community.'