In a historic move, the IRB have appointed Carol Isherwood to become the first female official on its overall Rugby Committee.
Isherwood, a former England and Great Britain international, is a well-known figure in the womens game having been a leading figure for over 25 years as a player, coach and administrator.
She is a founder member of the Rugby Football Union for Women and is widely credited with much of the development of the game in England
Isherwood said she hoped to bring new ideas and a fresh perspective to the committee.
"I am also enthused by the prospects for international Women's Rugby in the next decade following the recent success of the women's tournament at the RWC Sevens in Dubai and, hopefully, Olympic inclusion from 2016. These are very exciting and important times for Rugby worldwide," she added.
Carol joined Scottish Rugby in December 2008 to manage the womens game in Scotland.