ASIC Commissioner Sean Hughes will depart the regulator to join the asset manager as the local general counsel and executive team member.
Hughes took a five-year term with the corporate watchdog in 2018.
Previous roles include group general counsel for Tabcorp and chief risk and legal officer at UniSuper.
Earlier, he ran the Financial Markets Authority in New Zealand.
Hughes has also held leadership positions at National Australia Bank and ANZ and was a partner at the law firm Thompson Geer.
Speaking about the appointment, Vanguard Australia managing director Daniel Shrimski acknowledged Hugh's depth of experience in law, governance, regulation and risk.
"Following the recent launch of Vanguard Super and a successful three years since the business introduced Vanguard Personal Investor, we have progressed in our goal of providing Australians - and the advisers that serve them - with a high-value offer that supports their financial goals both inside and outside of super," he said.
"With Sean's appointment, we continue to focus on building teams led by strong leaders who will ensure that the business remains aligned with the new and changing needs of our clients into the future to offer them the best chance of investing success."