Downing has been in charge of the Young Lions on an interim basis since July, winning all three matches in charge against Czech Republic, Turkey and the Netherlands.
The 50-year-old coach has previously been in charge of Cheltenham Town before joining West Brom’s academy coaching staff in 2009. Downing went to become an assistant head coach at the Premier club under Roy Hodgson and Steve Clarke. He was also briefly the Baggies’ care-taker manager in December 2013.
The new U20’s boss said: “We’ve enjoyed our time together so far and I’m really looking forward to continuing working with the players.
“We’ve got a good blend of experience in the squad and the U20s set-up is an age group that has only been represented by England for a couple of years now, so it gives the players that have come late into the system that opportunity to experience what it takes to play for their country.
Downing’s work thus far has impressed the Head of Development Team Coach at the FA Matt Crocker who said: “In his time as interim coach for us, we’ve seen the players produce many of the key strands that are embedded into our style of play, as part of the England DNA philosophy.
“The hope then is that the U20s set-up can provide that stepping stone into Gareth Southgate and the Under-21s and then hopefully through to the seniors. By working closely with the players and staff, Keith has the coaching experience, intelligence and personality to help us achieve that.”
The former West Brom coach’s first match will be against Ghana at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium on March 27.
Downing added: “It’s a lovely place and a great stadium, so we’re delighted they’ll be hosting us.
“It is a really exciting game we have to look forward to playing against African opposition, and Ghana have notoriously done well at youth level so it will be a good test for us.
“It’s an Easter Sunday as well, so it’s a great opportunity for local fans and families to come and enjoy a day out at the football, and watch up and coming England stars on their home turf.”
Tickets for the game will be available for sale from February 13 directly from Doncaster Rovers’ website.