Honolulu, Hawaii-based centre announced Monday. He takes the place of Tarun Das, former chief mentor of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Tata was elected with Takeshi Niinami, CEO of Japan's Lawson, Inc. Both will serve three-year terms.
Tata, who headed the Indian industrial powerhouse the Tata Group until his retirement in 2012, chairs two of the largest private-sector philanthropic trusts in India and is a member of the Indian Prime Minister's Council on Trade and Industry.
He also serves on the board of trustees of Cornell University and the University of Southern California, as well as the board of directors of Alcoa, among numerous other board positions.
Established by the US Congress in 1960, the East West Centre serves as a resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, and develop policy options.