When she joins the BBC later in the year, Penhale will be responsible for strategic direction of the BBC Wales drama operation, overseeing in-house teams and relationships with external producers.
As creative manager and executive producer at Kudos, Penhale's recent production credits include BBC One's Spooks and The Fixer on ITV1.
She will replace Piers Wenger, who joined BBC Wales in 2007 and played an integral part with Stephen Moffat and Beth Willis in masterminding the latest revival of Doctor Who. Wenger will remain with the BBC as creative leader for a variety of shows, including Doctor Who.
The BBC Wales drama department is expected to get a significant boost this autumn when the new drama production centre opens in Cardiff Bay. The base will eventually be home to Doctor Who, Pobol y Cwm and Upstairs Downstairs.
Discussing Penhale's appointment, controller of BBC Drama commissioning Ben Stephenson said: "Faith has fantastic creative energy and vision as well as great talent relationships so I am delighted she has agreed to go back to her roots in Wales.
"We have big plans for Wales drama - not only do we want to sustain its relationships with Welsh indies but we also want to build on the success of the in-house department to make it even more vibrant and exciting.
"I am confident that Faith will be a major player in delivering the ambition of BBC Drama by working with a range of writers on a variety of authentic and original authored drama."
Faith Penhale added: "I am thrilled to be joining such an exciting department with a track record for producing some of the most stand-out dramas on British television. I hope my experience at Kudos will help take the department even further and build on its success."
The BBC recently extended its search for a new boss of BBC Wales to replace the outgoing Menna Richards, with Keith Jones appointed as director in the interim.