The England U21 coach was given the responsibility following Sam Allardyce's embarrassing exit from the job.
The former Middlesbrough manager is expected to be in charge of the national at least for their next four games, including three World Cup qualifiers.
"The FA have a good manager in charge in Gareth. He has been through the system and knows the players coming through," said Pardew, who played with Southgate at Palace.
"I have respect for him as a player, a coach and as a manager. I played with him a few times after Steve had fast-tracked him in and he was a player who was always keen to learn.
"He had an intelligence that was above mine and the other players'. He had something like eight O-Levels which, at that time, was astonishing, especially for us who went to comprehensive schools and the mayhem they were. In all his career he has always handled himself and had an intelligence to grow as a player.
"He wasn't that good a player, really. I can say that because I'm a friend. But it was his intelligence that made him an England international and it is that same intelligence he will bring to the managerial role."
"The one thing you have to ask about top managers is: is there an X Factor there when the game is tight?
"Can he make the right substitution, the right call? Can he tactically set a team up at that level?
"He has four games to try and show he can and I hope he does. He can certainly relate to players, he can speak their language. He understands their issues, and he understands the issues around the England team for sure because he has that experience. He can pass that on."