Preston has joined Clapa from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, where she was chief executive for three years. She replaces Gareth Davies, who has left to set up the European Cleft Organisation after spending 13 years at the charity.
"I joined Clapa because I wanted the opportunity to work closely with service users," said Preston. "Clapa has a terrific track record of bringing together the NHS and people affected by clefts to improve services.
"I'm looking forward to taking this further and also to raising awareness generally of what it means to have a cleft lip or palate."