The position has been created at a time of heightened activity for the centre, which is overseeing a refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall and has plans to redevelop the whole South Bank complex in London.
Cole spent ten years at the NACF and spearheaded a campaign that led to the Government introducing free admission for national museums and galleries.
'I will be looking towards 2007 when the refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall will be complete and we will be pushing ahead with the redevelopment of the South Bank,' said Cole.
'My role is a strategy-led position as it was felt the communications team needed to be led from director level,' she added.
Reporting directly to chief executive Michael Lynch, Cole takes charge of a ten-strong press team following the retirement of head of press and public affairs Sue Rose.
NACF said it may not hire a direct replacement.