The club have made a swift appointment following the news that Dave Dickson wouldn’t remain at the club.
The club are gearing up for the National League North next season following Saturday’s AGM outcome at Celtic Manor.
Former Newcastle United defender Williamson believes the time is right for him to step up.
“I'm very excited to be the new manager of Gateshead," he said.
"Last season was thoroughly enjoyable, I really loved it and got a good taste of the coaching side of things and it's something I have always wanted to do.
"I still get to be involved on the pitch as well so it will be fantastic for my personal development but also for the lads that we can bring in and create the same sort of environment that we did last season.”
He added: “I feel I know more than anybody just what football means to the people up here on Tyneside and that for me is the biggest element because I want to try and grow the club as much as I can in the community.
"Having Ian on board is fantastic as well, we're looking to put together a squad of homegrown players that want to play for Gateshead Football Club and Ian is key to that with his contacts, passion and ambition for football in the area.
"Playing in the National League North is what it is and we accept that but with everything that has gone on we are just really pleased that the football club still exists and the fact that we're still a professional outfit operating at a good level is a miracle.”