The position will be taken with immediate effect and Hancock is expected to become chair from 1 April 2016.
Tim Bennett, current chair, said: “I am delighted to welcome Heather to our board. She joins us at an exciting time as we deliver our new strategy, ‘Food we can trust’, that puts consumers first in everything we do.
“I would particularly like to thank Henrietta Campbell for her work as deputy chair over the last two years.”
Hancock added: “This is an exciting time to be joining the Food Standards Agency and to be championing the interests of consumers. I am delighted to be appointed to the FSA board, and am looking forward to working closely with Tim Bennett and the many individuals and organisations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who are committed to delivering consumers safe, authentic and honest food.”
The board seats between eight and 12 members and is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the FSA.