Baroness Barbara Young, who is in line to chair the new Care Quality Commission, told MPs today: 'I really want this job.'
The Labour peer, who is currently chief executive of the Environment Agency, underwent a grilling by the health select committee in the new-style public job interview.
The Care Quality Commission will absorb the Healthcare Commission, Commission for Social Care Inspection and Mental Health Act Commission and is due to start operating next year.
Baroness Young told the committee her first priority would be "getting the damn organisation up and running and making sure we don't lose the momentum of the three existing organisations".
She acknowledged the challenges in merging the three bodies, including the fact they worked in different ways.
She said the Healthcare Commission had adopted a "data-rich model", while the Commission for Social Care Inspection took a "more personalised, touchy, feely" approach.
"We have got to try and find a way to get the best of both of these," she said.
MPs voiced concern that Baroness Young, who has a health service background, did not have much experience of social care.
She admitted she'd had "limited involvement" with the sector but added: "I think it would be quite difficult to get someone with real experience across all three."
However, she told the committee she was passionate about regulation and finding ways to ensure it was effective without being "burdensome, bureaucratic or process-y".
One of the key areas the new regulator is likely to focus on is hospital-acquired infections.
Baroness Young said she believed strong leadership and management in the health service were crucial in tackling superbugs.
She was also questioned on how the role of the new regulator would fit in with foundation trust regulator Monitor.
"I think there is a job to be done in setting out clearly what Monitor will do in the future and what we will do," she said.
But she was clear Monitor should not take over sole responsibility for FT regulation.
She also said the commission should have a role in "the quality assurance of the commissioning process".
The committee will now produce a report, which could be ready as soon as Monday.