Stroud, who takes up the role on 1 May, will remain in the firm's London office but, as the new position has a global focus, will spend time travelling around the firm's international offices.
Chief executive Ted Burke said the role would see Stroud take overall responsibility for the firm's HR strategy and will oversee its implementation.
"Caroline's appointment demonstrates that we are willing to make a significant commitment to our global HR function. She is a first class employment lawyer who we think will make a first class global HR partner," added Burke.
Stroud, who joined Freshfields in 2001 and made partner in 2005, will continue doing client work when she becomes HR partner though at this stage it is unclear how her time will be divided. Her practice is focused on employment issues and she specialises in advising on discrimination.
Speaking about her new role Stroud said: "I am very excited by the opportunity to contribute to the firm in such a fundamental way and am looking forward to working with colleagues across our international network."
Freshfields' current HR director Tim Cole, who is not a lawyer, will remain with the firm but will turn his attentions to partner development.