Career Opportunities

The PSC is Hiring a Chief Executive Officer

preservation-admin , October 13, 2021


Job Summary

The Preservation Society of Charleston (PSC) seeks a Chief Executive Officer to lead the nation’s oldest community-based preservation organization as it begins its second century.  The ideal candidate for this job will be a seasoned leader with experience in historic preservation, land conservation, and/or related advocacy, excellent communication and collaboration skills, fundraising experience, and the ability to work effectively with a close-knit team of talented professionals to achieve the PSC’s ambitious goals. The CEO will serve as the principal leader, advocate, and fund-raiser for the Preservation Society, with overall responsibility for all of its activities, including advocacy and education, advancement, communications, retail, finance, and general operations.  This will be a full-time position, reporting to the PSC Board of Directors.

About the Preservation Society

Founded in 1920, the Preservation Society of Charleston is the oldest membership preservation organization in the nation.  Having recently observed its Centennial with a highly successful capital campaign, the PSC has begun its second century with enhanced resources and increased vigor, continuing to serve as a leading advocate for citizens concerned about preserving Charleston’s distinctive character, quality of life, and diverse neighborhoods and populations. The Preservation Society has an operating budget of approximately $2.7 million and a staff of fifteen.  For more information on the Preservation Society of Charleston, please visit

Statement from the Board of Directors

The Board of the Preservation Society is eager to embark on the next chapter in the history of this 100-year-old organization.  The PSC launched the historic preservation movement in the US and has had a transformational impact on the city of Charleston as an historic, vibrant and highly livable city.  Now, more than a century later, we find ourselves at the nexus of traditional historic preservation and the new economy that both benefits and threatens our citizens and beloved city. As a world-class port city and a national and international icon, Charleston is experiencing a growth paradox that is fueling both economic prosperity and cultural and livability decline.  Unmanaged development, over-tourism, and the now-routine catastrophic impacts from sea level rise and climate change threaten the livability, authenticity and very soul of Charleston.

Charleston is under siege and is changing.  But it is not lost — yet. Time is short and leadership is essential if we are to influence the course our city will take for the next 100 years. PSC has a critical leadership role in determining a way forward.  How we educate and engage our community, and how we lead the fight for its preservation and livability, are matters of utmost importance. Charleston is at an existential crossroads, and the choices made will either sustain or destroy it.  The next leader of PSC will be on the front lines of this transformational time in the history of both our organization and the city of Charleston.

The passion and tirelessness of our founder, Susan Pringle Frost, gave birth to a movement that has defined our city and culture for a century.  Now is the time for a new leader to bring that same energy and leadership to PSC to ensure that the lessons of the past shape the future of our city.

Principal Responsibilities

Advocacy and Preservation

Working with the Director of Advocacy, the Director of Historic Preservation, and the Advocacy team:

Craft and communicate a long-term vision for the direction of the PSC’s advocacy that safeguards Charleston’s distinctive character and rich architectural heritage, ensures that livability and community issues are effectively addressed, and connects the preservation of the built environment to the quality of life for the citizens of Charleston

Serve as a long-term, strategic planner and thought leader on major issues, shaping policy on such matters as land use, tourism management, and resilience planning

Support and oversee the multi-faceted work of the Advocacy team, which includes regular appearances at an array of City review boards (including the Board of Architectural Review, Planning Commission, and Board of Zoning Appeals), work on major or large-scale projects, the development of policy initiatives, and legal engagement

Develop criteria for assessing the costs and benefits of PSC’s participation in various projects and initiatives, taking into consideration organizational capacity, both now and in the future

Take the lead role in forming and managing issue- or project-specific coalitions with non-profit and governmental partners, identifying objectives with a focus on creating shared goals and achieving desired outcomes

Monitor, maintain, protect and defend the PSC’s easement program, strategically recruiting new easement donations


Working with the Board, the Director of Advancement, and the Advancement team:
Lead all fundraising efforts for the PSC, including donor outreach and stewardship, prospect cultivation, major gift initiatives, sponsorship and corporate giving, and annual appeals

Oversee the creation of a program to draw in a broader constituency of support that includes  members who are more diverse in age and in ethnic, racial, geographic, and economic demographics

Support the planning and operation of the PSC’s three signature annual education programs: Fall Tours of Homes and Gardens, the Carolopolis Awards, and Preservation Month


Working with the Manager of Operations and Communications:

Develop a dynamic external communications plan that supports advocacy initiatives and advancement priorities and has clear and measurable goals

Represent and articulate the Preservation Society’s vision regularly to stakeholders and to the general public

Organizational Leadership and Management

Build a cohesive, high performance leadership team by directing, supporting, and providing mentorship for employees


Support the operations and future growth of the PSC’s retail Shop, which serves as a vital initial point of engagement for potential new members and visitors, communicates the PSC’s mission to customers, and grosses in excess of $1.5 million annually

Capitalize on opportunities for retail expansion, both brick-and-mortar and online


Ensure the long-term stability and sustainability of the Preservation Society through prudent financial management and a sound investment policy

Oversee the work of Finance staff,  including the development and monitoring of operational and capital budgets, risk management, audits, financial reporting, and financial planning

Desired skills and experience

Substantial leadership experience in historic preservation, land conservation, community development and/or related advocacy work

Excellent communication abilities, both oral and written

Non-profit management experience

Strong interpersonal and collaboration skills, including the ability to work effectively with a close-knit team of talented professionals to achieve the PSC’s goals

Significant fundraising experience

Knowledge of Charleston or regional history is desirable but not required.

Salary Range: $150,000 or more, commensurate with experience

Please send cover letter and resume electronically to Melissa Tillman at  Hard copies will not be accepted.  Materials received by December 1, 2021, will be held in confidence and given full consideration.

The Preservation Society is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, or disability.  The Preservation Society actively seeks opportunities to include members of these groups in its programs and activities.

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