The Preservation Society of Charleston has launched a search for a new executive director to take the reins of the nation's oldest community-based preservation group.

Former director Evan Thompson resigned earlier this year to become executive director of Preservation Texas, and Sandra Clerici currently is serving as interim executive director.

Board president Kristopher King said the society expects a diverse pool of applicants who can help lead the society as it nears its centennial in 2020.

"We are seeking someone who can help us sustain and expand our role as a leader in safeguarding Charleston's authenticity, preserving its rich and diverse history, and ensuring that livability and community issues remain at the forefront of our advocacy work," he said.

In recent years, the society has gone beyond advocating for the protection of old buildings and has worked on quality of life issues, such as tourism control, cruise ship limits and code enforcement.

The society's seven-member search committee began meeting last month to formulate a job description and outline the executive director search process.

Applications will be accepted through Aug. 1, and the committee plans to recommend a candidate to the board this fall.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.