McDaid has been named commissioning editor for the 21st Century Fox-owned pay TV group.
She will develop and oversee programming for National Geographic channels in the UK and internationally, reporting to executive VP of programming and development Hamish Mykura (pictured).
She will also identify premium programming opportunities that can play on the US flagship channel and internationally.
McDaid was most recently head of current production at Discovery-owned Science Channel, working on shows such as Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, coproducing series such as Wonders of the Solar System with the BBC, and creating virtual reality content.
She has previously worked at the BBC, Lion Television and Darlow Smithson.
“Bernadette has a superb depth of knowledge of factual TV, long experience with US and UK channels and an unstoppable enthusiasm for making great programmes, and she’ll be a huge asset to the team,” said Mykura.
Also in Nat Geo’s UK office, Francesca Johnson has been promoted to director of development and production.