Former President Carter (search) and his wife, Rosalynn, have left the top posts on the board of trustees of the center they founded in 1982 to promote peace and health programs around the world.

They called the move a step toward ensuring The Carter Center's (search) existence beyond their active lives. They remain members of the board.

The Carters resigned as chairman and vice-chair at a meeting Monday. John Moores (search), owner of the San Diego Padres baseball team and a trustee at the center, was elected the board's new chairman.

In a statement Tuesday, the 80-year-old Carter said he and his wife are in good health and plan to continue with the center.

"As its founders, we know The Carter Center will always be linked to our identity and personalities, but we proudly recognize the center has expanded its reach beyond what the two of us contribute," he said.

Center staff have worked at combatting disease in Africa and South America, monitoring elections in nations with emerging democracies and on other projects.

Moores created a foundation in 1989 to distribute treatment for blindness in Africa. It became part of The Carter Center in 1997.