He will replace Geoff Marsh who is among several officials to lose their spots as part of a major shakeup in Sri Lanka Cricket.
Ford recently announced he was quitting as head coach of the Dolphins, the South African, Durban-based franchise.
“While I feel a passion for Dolphins cricket, I respectfully ask for an immediate release from my Dolphins coaching position in order to follow my dreams of involvement at an international level,” Ford said.
Ford took over as coach of South Africa from Bob Woolmer in 1999 and held the position till 2001. He moved to Kent as director of cricket in 2004, and in 2006 he returned home to take charge of the Dolphins.
In June 2007, he was offered the challenge of coaching India but, to the embarrassment of the BCCI, declined. In 2009, he withdrew his name from the shortlist of candidates for the England coaching job.
Ford arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday to discuss the Sri Lankan offer.