Leigh coached Chris Newton, the Briton who won a bronze and silver medal in the pursuit race at the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympics respectively and a bronze in the points event in Beijing last year.
In his new role, Leigh will be responsible for developing and managing Cycling Ireland’s preparation for events like the World Cup, World Championship and Olympic track, road and MTB events.
Geoff Liffey, the chief executive of Cycling Ireland, said: “We are delighted to appoint Philip as Cycling Ireland’s high performance director.
“He is considerably experienced in identifying new cycling talent and in putting organisational and support structures in place to ensure that elite athletes achieve success.
“Philip will develop a system which allows Cycling Ireland’s elite athletes to come in and out of the high performance squad.”
Ireland took four cyclists to the Beijing Olympics, two in the road race and one each in the mountain bike and track events.
The best performance came from Nick Roche, who finished 61st in the road race.
Ireland has never won an Olympic medal in cycling.
Liffey said: “Our goal is to increase the size of the cycling team competing at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and to focus specifically on achieving success on the track.
Leigh said “Our indoor track riders are also capable of qualifying to compete for medals and the talent is there to have riders finish inside the top ten in the road and moutain bike disciplines.
Olympic Council of Ireland CEO Stephen Martin welcomed the ambiton shown from Cycling Ireland’s new performance director stating “we have already met with Cycling Ireland officials to ensure the OCI adds value to their programme and will assist Phillip and his team to achieve consistently higher performance outcomes over the next Olympiad “