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story.lead_photo.caption In this Aug. 30, 2017 photo, contestants attend a welcoming ceremony for the Miss America competition on the Atlantic City, N.J. Boardwalk. On Thursday, May 17, 2018, the Miss America Organization announced it has installed women in the organization's three top leadership posts following an email scandal last winter involving male leaders. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- The Miss America Organization is putting women in its three top leadership positions in the aftermath of an email scandal in which male officials were caught making vulgar and insulting comments about past winners of the beauty pageant.

The organization told The Associated Press Thursday that it is appointing Regina Hopper, a former Miss Arkansas, attorney and TV journalist, as president and chief executive of the Miss America Organization. It said it is also appointing Marjorie Vincent-Tripp of Illinois, who was Miss America 1991, as chairman 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 in charge.

"By putting female leadership in place, we hope to send a strong signal," Hopper said. "We want young women to see Miss America as a place where they can come and benefit and be empowered."

Hopper 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 leadership in December. She is a former correspondent for CBS News, where she won an Emmy for her work on the show 48 Hours.

Regina Hopper through the years

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The scandal began when Huffington Post published leaked emails showing pageant officials ridiculing past Miss Americas, including crass and sometimes vulgar comments about them. The emails included one that used a vulgar term for female genitalia to refer to past Miss America winners, one that wished that a particular former Miss America had died and others that speculated about how many sex partners one former Miss America has had.

Haskell declined to comment on the new leadership.

Vincent-Tripp formerly served on the Miss America board of trustees. She is an assistant attorney general in Florida and formerly worked as a TV journalist. As chairman of the Miss America Foundation, she is responsible for educating the public about the foundation's values and building public support.

Vincent-Tripp replaces Lanny Griffith, who along with Miss America Organization Chairman Lynn Weidner stepped down during the transition.

Carlson, Miss America 1989, was named chairman of the Miss America board in January after the email scandal rocked the organization. Her sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes led to his departure.

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.

Information for this article was contributed by Alexandra Villarreal of The Associated Press.

A Section on 05/18/2018

Print Headline: Miss America execs shuffled

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