Tina Stowell, currently head of comms for the BBC Trust, will make the switch in the new year.
She will be responsible for the implementation of an integrated corporate affairs, events and publishing strategy for the BBC, working closely with the executive team and reporting directly to director of comms Ed Williams.
Stowell replaces interim director Janie Ironside-Wood.
Stowell has been head of comms for the BBC's governing body since 2003. Before joining the BBC in November 2001, Stowell ran William Hague's office when he was leader of the Conservative Party.
She has been a civil servant for ten years, working at the Ministry of Defence in London, the British Embassy in Washington and the 10 Downing Street press office. She was awarded an MBE in 1996.