In his new capacity, van Basten will be heading up all technical areas of the sport, ranging from football technology innovation to refereeing.
The AC Milan icon and former coach of Ajax, AZ Alkmaar and the Dutch national team will officially start his new role next week.
He has paid a first visit to the FIFA headquarters in Zurich where he was welcomed by President Gianni Infantino and deputy secretary general Zvonimir Boban.
"It's a great honour for me to be appointed for this assignment," the 1992 FIFA World Player of the Year said.
"I’m very proud to have the opportunity to work in Zurich, the home of world football.
"I hope to be able to give my contribution to ensure that football remains the number one sport in the world.
"Football is spectacular and it has to stay spectacular in every sense, we all love this sport."
Van Basten played for AC Milan and Ajax between 1981 and 1995 and made more than 50 appearances for The Netherlands.
During his time in Amsterdam he scored 128 goals in 133 games for Ajax, the 33-time Eredivisie champions.
The 51-year-old was most recently the assistant manager of the Dutch national team under Danny Blind.
Infantino is delighted by the appointment.
"Marco Van Basten is football," the Swiss-Italian said.
"Discussing with him the last few months and hearing his visions for the game, knowing of course what he has done for the game, for me it was immediately clear that Marco van Basten is a fantastic asset for FIFA.
"We have to cherish football, we have to protect football and develop football.
"Marco is a great expert, not only a legend.
"There is a lot he can do for football, for the game and around the pitch in the world.
"I’m extremely happy that he joined our team and I’m sure that he will do a great job."