The 45-year old has been out of the game since March 2014, when he was sacked by Charlton following a poor run of form.
The former Charlton, Southend and Watford full-back, who also won five full England caps, guided the Addicks to promotion from League One with a record 101 points in 2012, before then securinga top-10 finish in his debut Championship campaign - a remarkable achievement given his low budget and cut-price playing squad.
The League Managers' Association’s League One Manager of the Year in 2012, Powell arrives at Huddersfied with a win ratio of 41% from his only full-time managing role.
Previous experience includes a caretaker spell in charge of Leicester City in 2010 - during which he won his only game in charge - while he also worked on the Foxes' coaching staff under former England head coach, and the man who selected Powell for his international caps, Sven-Goran Eriksson.
His arrival at Huddersfield has been long awaited, with the Terriers having played four games since the departure of former manager Mark Robins. The former Manchester United striker left the club one game into the current season, with the Terriers losing 4-0 at home to Bournemouth. Academy manager Mark Lillis stepped in as caretaker manager and oversaw four games in charge; one win, one draw and two defeats. The most recent result, a 4-2 away loss to Watford, suggested that an incoming manager was a necessity, with the on-pitch direction wayward and cumbersome.
Powell arrives with a remarkable amount of Championship know-how, having been promoted from the division three times in his playing career - and his attitude to the game should work perfectly to steady the increasingly rocky season that the Terriers are experiencing.
Huddersfield chairman Dean Hoyle confirmed the deal on the official Terriers website and also admitted that the deal had taken longer than usual, as he was keen on appointing the right man for the job.
He said: “We’re delighted to be able to welcome Chris to Huddersfield Town as the new Manager.
“We’ve taken our time over this appointment, as we wanted to give ourselves time to put in the groundwork and ensure we get the right man for the job. We believe we have in Chris.
“As I said when the process began, I felt it was important that we found a Manager who had ‘done it’ and Chris certainly fits that bill. He has ‘done it’ by guiding Charlton to promotion to the Championship and then finishing ninth in the 2012/13 Championship season – all achieved on a limited budget by getting the best out of his players.
“Make no mistake – throughout the football industry, Chris is held in extremely high regard. This is an excellent fit with the Club and how we operate.”
Terriers fans seem keen on the appointment, with Powell believed to be the best of any of the available candidates. However, they must wait until the 13th of this month to see their new man in action, with the international break delaying Middlesbrough’s visit to the John Smith’s Stadium.