The 25-year-old will become the first single mother to star as The Bachelorette when she begins her quest for love on the eighth instalment of the ABC romance show later this year, it was announced today (January 24).
Host Chris Harrison confirmed the news on Good Morning America, saying: "I think she's America's sweetheart and I think it will be a home run."
He added on his Twitter account: "It's official @EmilyMaynard is our #Bachelorette I couldn't be more excited! (sic)"
Maynard, who has a 6-year-old daughter called Ricki, initially appeared on Brad Womack's season of The Bachelor last year, where she won the bar owner's heart in the season finale, although the couple later separated.
In a statement announcing her casting, ABC said: "She accepted Brad's proposal and was looking forward to walking down the aisle. Unfortunately her relationship with Brad ended, along with her dream of moving to Austin with her daughter, Ricki, and starting a family. But Emily is ready for her luck to change and to bring her the love she so richly deserves."
It added: "Even though it didn't work out, she knows that the series can work. Among those 25 men, she is looking for someone who makes her laugh, doesn't take himself too seriously and can be her best friend. Emily is hoping that the third time is the charm."
Rumours of her involvement surfaced earlier this month, along with speculation that the show could film around her hometown in North Carolina.
The current season of The Bachelor - starring Ben Flajnik - airs Monday nights at 8/7c on ABC.