Whedon will be presented with the prize, which recognizes achievements in new media and technology,
at the 21st annual PGA Awards ceremony Jan. 24 at the Hollywood Palladium, the PGA said Monday.
He has worked as producer, writer, director and creator for such hit television programs as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel," "Firefly," and "Dollhouse." He has written several feature film scripts, including "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Toy Story," "Atlantis: The Lost Empire," "Alien Resurrection" and "Titan A.E.," and is the author of the Dark Horse comic-book series "Fray."
He also created and produced an Internet sensation with the musical superhero spoof "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog," which starred Neil Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion.
"Joss Whedon has mastered the art of melding the newest technology with inspired storytelling, truly exemplifying the spirit of the Vanguard Award," David Friendly and Laurence Mark, co-chairs of the PGA Awards, said in a statement.
"This is an honor I didn't expect and probably don't deserve," Whedon added. "The truth is, I've never actually guarded a van. But I am a super-total visionary, so that fits. ... This is a time of radical change in media delivery and content, and I'm honestly proud the PGA has singled me out as someone who sort of knows what's going on."