Evan Thompson

Charleston, South Carolina

Award Type: American Express Aspire Award: Recognizing Emerging Leaders in Preservation

Evan Thompson began his career as a lawyer in private practice, but it didn’t take long for him to realize that his true calling was historic preservation. In his first year as head of the Preservation Society of Charleston, he has emerged as an influential voice in the city, and under his leadership the 90-year-old society has a newly central role in determining Charleston’s future.

Evan Thompson began his career as a lawyer in private practice before realizing his true calling was historic preservation. As head of the Historic Beaufort Foundation he proved to be a visionary leader, with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of ideas and energy. Over the next six years, he led the charge on numerous restoration projects and got people reenergized about preserving the city’s heritage. He was such a success that the state legislature passed a resolution honoring his achievements when he left Beaufort.

In his first year as head of the Preservation Society of Charleston, he has emerged as an influential voice in the city’s heated debate over cruise tourism. His reputation for intelligence and integrity has earned him a seat at the table for important decisions. And under his leadership, the 90-year-old society has a central role in determining the city’s future.

"While each is unique, this year's outstanding award winners all reflect the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  “Evan Thompson is a dynamic preservation leader who has quickly emerged as an influential voice for preservation in South Carolina and we are all the better for it."