Miss America appoints women to three top leadership positions after email scandal
© Greg Nash

The Miss America Organization is appointing women to its top leadership positions in the wake of an email scandal that forced top male leadership to step down.

The organization is tapping Regina Hopper, a former Miss Arkansas, attorney and CBS News correspondent, to replace Sam Haskell as president and CEO, according to The Associated Press.

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Haskell stepped down in December after HuffPost published a series of leaked emails showing Haskell and other pageant officials making vulgar and derogatory comments about pageant contestants.

Haskell, who was originally suspended over the emails, said at the time that they had been “heavily edited” and that he wrote them "under stress of a full year of attacks by two Miss Americas." The board said initially that it considered the matter “closed.”

Lynn Weidner, who was chairman of the organization's board of directors, and Josh Randle, who was COO, also stepped down.

Marjorie Vincent-Tripp, 1991 Miss America, former TV journalist and assistant attorney general in Florida, will serve as chair of the Miss America Foundation.

Hopper told The Associated Press that having more female leadership will help “empower” young women.

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

Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who was Miss America in 1989, was tapped earlier this year to chair the organization’s board of trustees, replacing Randle.

Carlson and two other former Miss Americas who were mentioned in the emails and called on the organization’s leadership to resign soon after they were revealed publicly.