Burrell will join the US-based agency in September as vice-chairman of public affairs for Europe.
The appointment comes days after Burrell left his post as European vice-chairman at Edelman. Burrell's capture by APCO was first reported on prweek.com (6 July).
He will be based in London and report to APCO's UK managing director, Edward Walsh, in a European management role. His responsibilities will include oversight of all of APCO's European public affairs business.
In an internal note to staff, APCO's international president and chair of global development Brad Staples wrote: 'Michael will initially use his considerable experience to help strengthen our public affairs business in London and will work with both the Brussels and London teams to identify, pursue and close joint new business opportunities.'
Staples added that the signing sent 'a clear signal to the market that we are continuing to build on our public affairs heritage, while investing in broadening and deepening our corporate comms offer'.
Burrell joined Edelman in 2002. He was previously MD of lobbying firm Westminster Strategy.
APCO's London office is led by Walsh and deputy MD Razi Rahman, formerly Tony Blair's assistant political secretary in Downing Street.