Wates director and deputy chairman of the construction confederation is appointed with immediate effect.
Wates, who is also deputy chairman of the construction confederation and a board member of CITB-ConstructionSkills, will take up his role with immediate effect.
Wates said: "I am very much looking forward to leading the Forum's work on our key strategic issues. I see the Forum operating very much like the captain on the bridge of the ship, taking an overview and steering a true course ahead; the important work of the Forum members, who have the ability to deliver, is in the engine room driving forward our agenda."
The appointment follows the recent restructuring of the Strategic Forum. The Construction Confederation, which Wates will also chair from June, will take over the secretariat of the Strategic Forum from the Construction Industry Council.
Construction Products Association deputy chairman Roy Harrison will become Strategic Forum deputy chairman.