Elvin will join the ILM on 6 February from the Open University, where he was director of the business-to-business division.
Before that, he led the British Standards Institution's global commercial learning and training business. He has also held senior roles in leading blue chip companies, including UBS and RM Education.
Elvin said: "I am delighted to be joining ILM, an organisation with a great reputation as a globally recognised authority on leadership and management. Good leadership and management are important for all organisations, even more so in the current climate, and ILM is a major champion in this field. It is a great opportunity and I am looking forward to getting started."
Peter Cheese, chairman of the Institute of Leadership and Management, said: "We are pleased to be welcoming Charles as chief executive. He brings with him a tremendous amount of business experience, as well as expertise in learning and development. Charles is joining ILM at an exciting time – we have just marked our 10th anniversary and are looking ahead to the next decade.
"As organisations across all sectors face tough challenges, we believe strong leadership and management are more important than ever before and that prioritising the development of managers is one of the key HR decisions businesses should make this coming year."