The new appointment is seen as a move to consolidate the party now that deputy president Azmin Ali has taken over the Selangor Mentri Besar position.
Saifuddin and vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar have been appointed as Election co-directors of the party, while Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin takes over from Rafizi as the party's strategic director.
The decision was made at a political bureau and central leadership council meetings, that were chaired by PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on Sunday night.
Speaking to The Star Online, PKR's Women chief Zuraida Kamaruddin said the move, while an unconventional one, was done with a view "to put the best people in the best places".
"Now that the deputy president is now a mentri besar, he is now preoccupied with other tasks outside the party. That is why we have to beef up the appointments," she said when contacted.
PKR has also appointed two new vice-presidents, in addition to the three vice-presidents that were elected.
The party has yet to appoint the third vice-president but it is believed that the position is reserved for a Malay academic.
"The new vice-presidents are Sri Andalas assemblyman Dr Xavier Jayakumar and Penampang MP Darell Leiking.
"We have not confirmed the other one - we have the name - but there are certain things to be cleared. We will make an announcement (on this)," said Zuraida.
Meanwhile, she said, Fahmi Fadzil remains as the party's communications director.
Several party leaders who lost in the recent elections have been appointed to the central leadership council.
Here is a list of appointed positions:
Treasurer-general: Datin Paduka Tan Yew Kew,
Deputy treasurer-general: Tengku Maraziyah Tengku Sulaiman,
Board secretary director: Fariz Musa,
Legal director: Sivarasa Rasiah,
Training director: Fuziah Salleh,
Central leadership members:
Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Rodziah Ismail, Amirudin Shari, Mohdak Ismail, N. Surendran and Mustapha Sakmud.
New political bureau members:
Dr Syed Husin Ali, Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, Datuk Johari Abdul, Datuk Dr Mansor Othman, N Surendran and William Leong.
Board secretary director: Fariz Musa;
Communications director: Fahmi Fadzil;
Political Improvement bureau chief: Tian Chua;
Membership bureau chief: Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong;
Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony bureau chief: Dr Md Nur Manuty;
Public complaints and community bureau chief: S Manickavasagam;
Investment and Trade bureau chief: Wong Chen;
National Integration bureau chief: Dr Edmund Santhara;
Health and Science bureau chief: Dr Azman Ismail;
Education bureau chief: Abas Awang;
International bureau chief: Gooi Hsiao Leung;
Felda and Plantations bureau chief: Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin;
Orang Asli community bureau chief: Bob Manolan;
Labour bureau chief: Abdullah Sani;
Consumerism bureau chief: G Manivanan;
Local government bureau chief: William Leong;
Srikandi (women youth) bureau chief: Siti Aishah Shaik Ismail.