Roger Highfield has been editor of New Scientist since 2008 and before that was science editor of The Daily Telegraph.
Science Museum director Ian Blatchford said: ‘Roger will bring tremendous knowledge and energy to this role. The appointment marks an exciting new phase in our history.’
NMSI is the national museum group that oversees the Science Museum, the National Railway Museum and the National Media Museum.
Highfield said: ‘It is going to be a great opportunity not only to maintain the high profile of NMSI but expand its reach further afield so that everyone understands the incredible impact of science and technology on the modern world.’
He will take up his appointment on 28 November with overall responsibility for press, marketing, corporate comms, advocacy and internal comms across all three museums.
Highfield has served on a wide range of advisory committees, including the Science Museum’s advisory board.
NMSI attracts a combined total of more than 4 million visitors a year and cares for more than 6 million objects.