Jenny Grey will oversee a team of 30, including the press office, e-media and teams responsible for internal and civil service-wide communications. She will report to permanent secretary for government communications Howell James.
Grey replaces John Worne, who left to become director of strategy and external relations at the British Council.
'One of the appealing things about the job is that it's right at the heart of government, so there is a big co-ordinating role,' said Grey.
She starts her new role in July and will be responsible for driving forward comms to support cabinet secretary Gus O' Donnell's overarching 'make government work better' strategy, aimed at creating a more cohesive Cabinet Office.
Grey will support the Home Office's main priorities of tackling social exclusion, reforming public services and supporting the third sector. She will also handle counter-terrorism and resilience, ensuring preparations are in place for national emergencies.
One of her main responsibilities will be to put in place strategies for strengthening engagement and communication between the centre of government and the 500,000 civil servants employed across the country.
Grey was appointed to the Audit Commission in 2006 as managing director of communications and public reporting. Previous positions include director of strategy and comms at the National Patient Safety Agency.