Former war memorial director Dr Brendan Nelson has returned as a key figure in the national institution, replacing Kerry Stokes as its board's chair.
"We look forward to working with Dr Nelson as our chair," he said.
"He will bring his passion, commitment and knowledge to serve the memorial in this strategic capacity."
The former director was announced as a council member earlier this month to fill a position left vacant after Mr Stokes, who sat on the council for 15 years and as chair for six, announced he was standing down.
Dr Nelson served as the war memorial's director between 2012 and 2019 and was briefly a Liberal Party opposition leader and a defence minister in the Howard government prior to the role.
Veterans' Affairs Minister Andrew Gee announced the decision shortly before the election was called, which would allow Dr Nelson to serve through the institution's controversial $500-million redevelopment plans.
"In the seven years Dr Nelson was director of the Australian War Memorial he worked tirelessly to ensure it remained at the forefront of our nation's story of service and sacrifice," Mr Gee said.
"His long history of service to the Australian people as a medical practitioner, member of the Australian Parliament, diplomat and business leader will also bring a wealth of experience to the council.
"Our war memorial is sacred to Australians as a place of solemn reflection and pride in our nation's history of service. Generations of Australians have a special connection and bond to it through their own story of service and sacrifice or that of their family. I am very pleased Dr Nelson will again bring his passion and energy to it."