Mr Sherrard (42), succeeds Noel Doran, who’s stepping down from the publication after 30 years.
In his most recent role, Mr Sherrard has been overseeing digital and print coverage for Reach titles including the Irish Daily Mirror, Irish Daily Star, Daily Mirror NI, Dublin Live and Belfast Live.
He has worked for Reach plc, formerly Trinity Mirror, since 2009. He previously worked as sports editor at Johnston Press after studying journalism at University of Sunderland.
Noel Doran joined The Irish News in 1993 and was appointed editor in April 1999. He is to leave the role in April next year.
He was voted “regional editor of the century” in 2020 by readers of the Hold the Front Page website.
In an article on the Irish News website, Mr Sherrard said: “As a long-time admirer and reader of the Irish News, it is my great honour to now edit this renowned newspaper.
“The Irish News is an institution, and it is an enormous privilege to be asked to lead a team of journalists known for their independent thinking, incisive analysis, and depth of quality coverage.
“The paper has a well-deserved reputation, built throughout the last century, of publishing journalism that matters and setting new records along the way.”
He added: “I have the utmost respect for Noel Doran, and following him as editor is not only a great honour but also brings with it a responsibility I am keenly aware of.
“These are exciting times for the organisation and, building on Noel’s editorship, I intend to lead a team and brand that is bold, confident, and designed to embrace an ambitious digital transformation journey as we write the next chapters in the Irish News’ storied history.”