The move signals the fast- food company's determination to defend its record among policy makers for combating obesity.
Milward joins McDonald's in November from the Learning & Skills Council, where he has been head of public affairs for the past three years.
Explaining the move, McDonald's V-P of corporate affairs for the UK and Northern Europe, Julian Hilton-Johnson, said: ‘We are listening to and engaging with our stakeholders much more and much better than before.'
He said Milward would help handle the issues surrounding food nutrition and marketing to children amid proposals to ban junk-food TV advertising before the 9pm watershed. He will also help promote the firm's environmental and community programmes in the UK.
Milward will report to head of UK corporate affairs Nick Hindle. His appointment follows the arrival three months ago of PA manager Richard Casofsky from Finsbury (PRWeek, 9 June).
The company retains Bell Pottinger Public Affairs for external counsel.
Before the LSC, Milward spent six years at the public affairs practice of Weber Shandwick and its predecessor GJW. He has also worked for former Conservative minister Michael Mates.
The LSC said that Milward's position might not be replaced at the same level of seniority.