Benson joins the annual TV festival from Emap Networks, where she was media events director handling all conferences. She was also previously event director of the World Architecture Festival.
She will officially start her new job as festival director on January 31, replacing Amy Brown, who has moved to an events role at Google.
Benson will work closely with Elaine Bedell, the ITV director of entertainment and comedy, who is the MGEITF executive chair, and the BBC's George Entwistle, who is advisory chair for the 2011 festival.
"I'm delighted that Louise is joining the Edinburgh Television Festival. She's well-known already to many in the media industry and understands the key issues facing the TV sector," said Bedell.
"She's absolutely the right person to help us take the festival forward over the next few years, and is full of enthusiasm and energy to make it more international, more relevant and inspiring."
Benson added: "I'm looking forward to working with George Entwistle, the 2011 advisory chair and his advisory committee to deliver a must-attend event. The TV festival is a very special event, and one that I've always wanted to be involved in."