She'll take over for Susanne Daniels, who joined Lifetime in 2005 and presided over the development and launch of How to Look Good Naked and scripted series Army Wives.
"One of the key reasons why I wanted to do this is the direction Lifetime is taking," Alfano said. "I’m a big fan of Army Wives. I’ve seen every episode. And I'm also a big fan of Project Runway and I’m delighted that it’s coming here. And they’re doing great movies. So there’s a palate and a real broad sense of what women want and that's really what I responded to -- that it feels really contemporary and it feels very relevant and fun. And having the opportunity to develop in your own voice is so unique and rare."
Alfano, who will be based in Lifetime's Los Angeles office, will program the flagship network, as well as Lifetime Movie Network and Lifetime Real Women. She'll report to Andrea Wong, president and CEO of Lifetime Networks.
Daniels -- who has three children with husband Greg Daniels, executive producer of King of the Hill and The Office -- announced earlier this summer that she was leaving the job to spend more time with her family.
Alfano's TV career began in the NBC publicity office. From there, she made the jump to the development team and rose through the ranks as senior VP of drama development and senior VP of comedy development before becoming VP of primetime series for NBC Studios, where she oversaw production on Will & Grace, Homicide, Providence and Profiler.
She left NBC to become president of Broadway Video Television, where she developed NBC's 30 Rock and ABC's short-lived Sons and Daughters.
She started her own production company, TV Tray Entertainment, in June 2007. The company had a first-look deal with NBC Universal Media Studios.