His specialisms at the university include the topic of 'black propaganda', which relates to the spreading of false information in a conflict.
Jolly said: ‘It has been a privilege to work at the University of Cambridge over the past seven years and I want to extend my sincere thanks to all those who have supported me during that period. I am proud of what we have achieved together but the time is now right for a change.
‘The Ministry of Defence is one of the great departments of state and it is an honour to be appointed its director of media and communications. The MoD is currently undergoing significant transition. I look forward to joining a highly regarded team and helping them meet their future communications challenges.’
Jolly steps into the post after the departure of Simon Wren, who left to join the Home Office early this year.
The post is currently being filled on an interim basis by MoD head of news James Shelley.