Basset, who set up Hotel du Vin and works with Sopexa on various projects, has won many awards throughout a glittering career in the wine trade after moving to the UK from his native France in the 1980s.
He was given an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List in 2011 for services to the hospitality industry.
He said: “An important aspect of my career has always been discovering young talents, mentoring them and inspiring them. The number of sommeliers and barmen who have trained with me are numerous and they have achieved great heights themselves, a fact of which I am very proud.
"I have the utmost regard for the WSET, and being asked to become its fourth honorary president, following such illustrious names as Michael Broadbent, Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson, is an honour which I am delighted to accept.”
Basset will take up his role after a graduation ceremony at the Guildhall in London on January 20.