Senegalese diplomat Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura has been appointed as FIFA's first female secretary general at the annual congress of world football's governing body in Mexico City.
The 54-year-old Samoura has worked for the United Nations since 1995, having led UN humanitarian efforts in Chad and Nigeria.
Subject to passing an eligibility check, Samoura will replace acting secretary general Markus Katttner in mid-June.
"Fatma is a woman with international experience and vision who has worked on some of the most challenging issues of our time," said new FIFA president Gianni Infantino.
"She has a proven ability to build and lead teams, and improve the way organisations peform.
"Importantly for FIFA, she also understands that transparency and accountability are at the heart of any well-run and responsible organisation."
Samoura's appointment has already been heralded as an important step towards greater diversity and independent thought by close observers of FIFA politics.
Australia's Moya Dodd, one of only three female members currently on the FIFA Council, has tweeted this is a "landmark day for #womeninFIFA".
"Today is a wonderful day for me, and I am honoured to take on the role of FIFA Secretary General," said Samoura in an official statement.
"I believe this role is a perfect fit for my skills and experience - strategic, high impact team-building in international settings - which I will use to help grow the game of football all over the world.
"I also look forward to bringing my experience in governance and compliance to bear on the important reform work that is already under way"