The department is seeking a chief charity commissioner, a deputy and up to five commissioners. All positions will be part-time and will initially be unpaid.
The chief charity commissioner appointment will be for five years. A DSD document says that it is seeking to appoint an outstanding individual with several years' experience of contributing effectively to a board of comparable scale and complexity.
A spokesman added: "We will be looking for someone with an in-depth knowledge of the charity sector, a track record of leadership and a background in government and governance."
Margaret Ritchie, the Minister for Social Development, plans to make the appointments in October. A total of 16 paid staff, including a chief executive, will be appointed later.
The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is expected to be in existence by the end of the year after the Northern Ireland Assembly's Charities Bill is passed – it is currently awaiting Royal Assent. The act also paves the way for the possibility of paying commissioners in future.
The closing date for applications is 15 August. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.