Stearns, 27, spent last season as the Indians' director of baseball operations, assisting in all aspects of baseball operations with a focus on contract negotiations, salary analysis, team strategy and roster management.
"David was highly recommended by several industry experts," Luhnow said. "His experience working at Major League Baseball, as well as with three different clubs, will be an asset for us."
Stearns joined the Indians a year ago after working three seasons for Major League Baseball's Commissioner's Office, serving as manager of labor relations when he departed. He also was a member of MLB's negotiating committee on the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement and assisted clubs through contract negotiations, the salary arbitration process and Rule 4 Draft signings.
Stearns, a graduate of Harvard, also has experience working in the baseball operations departments for the New York Mets, the Pittsburgh Pirates and Major League Baseball's Arizona Fall League.