These women aren’t just wearing the crown but are taking charge of it, as well.
For the first time in the Miss America pageant’s history, its leadership teams will be headed by women, all of whom are former pageant winners.
The announcement follows an email scandal first reported by HuffPost in December that led to the swift resignation of two male leaders. The leaked emails revealed disparaging and misogynistic comments about the pageant’s participants.
Regina Hopper, a former Miss Arkansas who previously served as chair of the Miss America Foundation, will now serve as the Miss America Organization’s president and chief executive officer.
Marjorie Vincent-Tripp, who won the Miss America title in 1991, will head the foundation’s board of trustees after serving on it in 2016.
The pageant’s organization and foundation are separate nonprofits, with the organization overseeing the competition and the foundation processing the recipients’ scholarships, according to the pageant’s website.
The appointments follow former Fox News host and Miss America pageant winner Gretchen Carlson becoming the first Miss America to be appointed to lead the organization’s board of trustees in January.
“By putting female leadership in place, we hope to send a strong signal,” Hopper told The Associated Press this week. “We want young women to see Miss America as a place where they can come and benefit and be empowered.”
Vincent-Tripp, in a statement shared on the pageant’s website, celebrated the appointments as a new chapter.
“It is my hope to continue the mission of expanding the reach of the Foundation to provide scholarship opportunities for young women across the board,” she said.
Both Hopper and Vincent-Tripp are lawyers and former TV journalists.
“The induction of this all-female leadership team signals forthcoming transformational changes to the entire organization and program, ushering in a new era of progressiveness, inclusiveness and empowerment,” the pageant said in a statement.