The Preservation Society of Charleston has hired Evan Thompson of Beaufort as its new executive director.

His arrival June 1 will mark the second consecutive time the society has hired away the executive director of the Historic Beaufort Foundation.

Its previous director, Cynthia Jenkins, worked in Beaufort before moving to Charleston and serving as the society's director for 15 years. She left in September, and the society began a search for her replacement.

Society President Rick Corrigan said Thompson was presented to board members last week. "I understand it to be a done deal as of yesterday," he said Tuesday. "We're very pleased."

The society was founded in 1920, making it the nation's oldest membership-based historic preservation group. It acts mostly as an advocacy organization trying to preserve historic buildings and sites, and it also runs Charleston's fall candlelight house tours, as well as a bookstore at 147 King St.

In Beaufort, Thompson helped manage a $600,000 Save America's Treasures grant project that tackled serious structural issues at the city-owned Arsenal, according to the Historic Beaufort Foundation. That five-year project was completed last year.

He also enjoys historic research, and his work pinpointed what is believed to be Beaufort's only known surviving antebellum office, the Edmund Rhett Law Office. That office was raised and now sits nearly unchanged atop an early 20th century building.

Thompson worked as an intern with the Historic Charleston Foundation in 2003, shortly after he received a law degree from the University of Texas.