Bruce Minto, who co-founded the Edinburgh-based corporate law firm Dickson Minto WS in 1985, led the successful fundraising for the £47 million transformation of the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street.
He has served on the board of trustees since October 2010 and replaces outgoing chair Sir Angus Grossart from tomorrow.
Mr Minto said: “I am delighted. The National Museum of Scotland is now recognised as one of the great national museums of the world and a place to enjoy, celebrate and learn. With over two million visits annually, it is a venue which sits firmly at the heart of Scotland’s cultural life.
“There are exciting opportunities ahead as we look at new ways to open up our collections to national and international audiences.”