Gaultier, a self-professed film buff, has long expressed his desire to take part in the annual festival, and it appears 2012 is his year.
Confirming rumours about the 60-year-old's appointment, Cannes boss Thierry Fremaux says, "We have a tradition of inviting people who we know are cinephiles but who are not necessarily in cinema."
Gaultier will join Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, German beauty Diane Kruger, French actress Emmanuelle Devos and directors Alexander Payne and Raoul Peck on the panel. Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti has been named president of the nine-person jury, which is responsible for selecting the winners for the festival's top awards.
The remaining jury members will be announced at a later date.
The 65th annual Cannes Film Festival begins on 16 May (12).