Ex-Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson will serve as chair of Miss America’s board of directors, becoming the first former pageant winner to lead the organization, which has been rocked by resignations following accusations of sexual harassment. Carlson confirmed the move, first reported by HuffPost, in a tweet Monday, saying she’s honored to “move this iconic program forward with so many amazing volunteers.”
HuffPost reports that former Miss America winners Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss, Heather French Henry and Kate Shindle will join Carlson on the board. Carlson won the pageant in 1989.
The report comes days after the resignations of president Josh Randle, CEO Sam Haskell and chairman Lynn Weidner in the wake of a scandal that revealed emails by top officials targeting past pageant winners and criticizing them over their appearances.
In 2016, Carlson settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with 21st Century Fox against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for $20 million. Carlson alleged that Ailes demoted her from her post as a co-anchor on Fox News’ morning show “Fox & Friends” after she rebuffed his sexual advances. She also claimed that Fox did nothing after she reported sexist and condescending behavior by her colleague “Fox & Friends” Steve Doocy.
The lawsuit shocked the media world and sparked several sexual harassment complaints against Ailes, leading to his departure.