Barrow, who was the head of university marketing at Manchester and previously spent nine years as director of marketing and communications at Manchester Business School, will be responsible for brand development, web and social media marketing and international student recruitment.
She will take up the role, which is newly created, in November.
She said: “I am very excited to have the opportunity to combine my higher education knowledge and youth marketing experience to lead a bold, new marketing approach for Salford – there is certainly a great story for us to tell.
University of Salford vice-chancellor, Professor Martin Hall, added: “She brings a wealth of experience gained in higher education and other corporate areas and joins us at an important time with the introduction of the Marketing and Student Recruitment Directorate and the development of a new strategic plan for the university.”
Barrow has held a number of other senior positions at American Express, PolyGram Home Entertainment, Levi Strauss and BBC Worldwide.