The Miss America Organization is putting women in its three top leadership positions following an email scandal in which male officials were caught making vulgar and insulting comments about past winners of the beauty pageant. The organization tells the AP it is appointing Regina Hopper as president and CEO of the Miss America Organization, and Marjorie Vincent-Tripp as chairwoman of the board of the Miss America Foundation. Coupled with Gretchen Carlson leading the Miss America Organization's board of trustees, the group is moving on from the email scandal with women firmly in charge. "By putting female leadership in place, we hope to send a strong signal." Hopper says. "We want young women to see Miss America as a place where they can come and benefit and be empowered." It's the first time the organization will be led entirely by women, CNN reports.
Hopper, a former Miss Arkansas, attorney and TV journalist, replaces Sam Haskell, whose emails about the intellect, appearance and sex lives of former Miss Americas led to his departure and a revamping of the group's top leadership in December. Vincent-Tripp, who was Miss America 1991 and a former Miss America trustee, is an assistant attorney general in Florida and former TV journalist. She replaces Lanny Griffith, who along with MAO chair Lynn Weidner stepped down during the transition. Carlson, Miss America 1989, was named chairwoman of the Miss America board in January after the email scandal rocked the organization. Hopper said she hopes young women will realize that Miss America is now being led by women who have been through the program and have been helped by it, and that they will seek the same benefits from it.