Mulligan, currently the District's chief engineer, starts his new duties Sept. 1. He is the District's ninth general manager and chief executive officer since the Golden Gate Bridge opened in May 1937.
Mulligan, 49, replaces Celia G. Kupersmith, who has accepted a job with Sound Transit in Seattle.
His salary as chief engineer is $197,000 but his salary as general manager and chief executive officer is pending execution of a final contract, District spokeswoman Mary Currie said.
Kupersmith was earning a base salary of $237,000, Currie said.
Mulligan has 28 years of experience in transportation and worked for Caltrans between July 1982 and February 2001. He joined the Golden Gate Bridge District in March 2001.
The District conducted a month-long internal search for a new general manager and chief executive officer.
Al Boro, the president of the District's Board of Directors, said Mulligan has a "proven track record - with both a high caliber of leadership and a solid and successful background serving the public sector.
"He will be able to step right into the position and hit the ground running," Boro said.
Mulligan has managed the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge's public safety railing project that separates sidewalks from the roadway on both sides of the bridge and continues to manage the famous span's seismic retrofit project.
He also began and completed the preliminary engineering and environmental process for the Golden Gate Bridge's physical suicide deterrent system project - a net to be installed beneath the bridge.