Hicks (pictured) will be responsible for the delivery of the organisation’s communications, public affairs, stakeholder engagement and research functions.
She will also lead on key partnerships, and will report to incoming CEO Sally Munday.
Hicks has held a number of senior positions at the WWF, including director of partnerships.
She said: "I passionately believe in the power of sport to connect communities and countries, and transform lives."
Hicks will start her new role on 31 October. She said a new strategy will help focus on the social impact of Olympic and Paralympic success more than ever before.
Simon Morton, interim CEO of UK Sport, added: "[Social impact] is an area of increasing importance for us as we look to engage athletes and sports leaders, while also maximising the opportunity of our hosted major events."