Putnam will succeed Ian Grice, the former Alfred McAlpine and Mowlem chief, who has served as a supervisory board member since 2010.
The board supervises Arcadis strategic policy and the general operations of the company.
Putnam, aged 57, has been the president and chief executive officer of Skanska UK from 2009 to 2017. Before he joined Skanska as managing director for Skanska Cementation in 1995, he worked for Balfour Beatty Plc as area manager and contracts manager.
He also presently holds two independent non-executive roles at Network Rail and Southern Water Services respectively.
Niek Hoek, chairman of the supervisory board of Arcadis, said: “I see great value in having Michael Putnam on the Arcadis Supervisory Board, as he brings solid industry knowledge as well as a good understanding of the challenges our industry is facing particularly due to the digital transformation.”