Edwards replaces Ben Hayes, who retired in December after less than a year. The role was a surprise move for Hayes, who was previously comms director at the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.
Edwards will take the top comms role at North Yorkshire in mid-April. She has been heading the comms team at Leeds since 2003. Previously, she was comms chief at City of York Council.
Assistant chief executive Justine Brooksbank said a key part of Edwards' role would be to tighten internal comms, to 'influence staff to become ambassadors'.
Edwards was the CIPR's Young Professional of the Year in 2003.