Oscar Garcia told Brighton's official website: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to work in English football for the first time. Brighton and Hove Albion is one of the most exciting and progressive clubs in the country."
Oscar Garcia, who quit as Maccabi Tel Aviv boss last month, inherits a side which finished fourth in the Championship last season.
He played for Barca for six years and also coached the club's youth team before guiding Maccabi to the league title last season.
Brighton have named former Barcelona midfielder Oscar Garcia as their new head coach.
The Championship club have turned to Garcia, 40, to replace Gus Poyet after the Uruguayan was sacked as manager at the weekend.
Poyet is set to appeal against his dismissal but the Seagulls have handed Garcia the newly-created position of head coach, which he will begin tomorrow morning.
Brighton confirmed the news in a statement this evening that offered no reason for the surprise move, which comes three days after the Seagulls exited the play-offs at the hands of bitter rivals Crystal Palace.
The statement read: "Brighton & Hove Albion has confirmed that it has suspended its manager, assistant manager, and its first-team coach from their duties.
"The club will now follow its internal procedures with regard to this matter and will make no further comment at this time."
The Brighton & Hove Albion manager was told today he must stay away from the Amex Stadium while an internal investigation into an alleged breach of contract.
It is believed comments made at the Championship club after the play-off defeat to Crystal Palace on Monday may be connected to the move.
Billy Davies' unbeaten return as Nottingham Forest manager was preserved by an injury-time mistake from Brighton goalkeeper Casper Ankergren.
Forest were chasing a club record-equalling seventh straight win,
but it looked like Davies would taste defeat for the first time in eight games when Will Buckley put the visitors back in front with five minutes remaining.However, Ankergren, excellent until this point, allowed Henri Lansbury's shot to squirm beneath his body and their rivals shared the points.
Brighton took the lead through Leonardo Ulloa's 57th-minute strike before substitute Lewis McGugan sparked the late drama with Forest's first equaliser in the 82nd minute.
Davies' side stay fifth in the table but Albion leapfrog Leicester and move up to sixth place.
Brighton and Hove Albion have announced a mouth watering friendly fixture ahead of the new season, playing Champions League winners Chelsea.
Gus Poyet will go head-to-head with his former Blues team-mate and close friend Roberto Di Matteo, who recently signed a two-year deal at Stamford Bridge in the wake of their European success.
Capacity at the Amex for the game on Saturday, August 4, will be limited to 18,000 due to the ground's expansion, adding 8,000 more seats.