Gretchen Carlson To Chair Miss America Board of Directors

Former Miss America Gretchen Carlson will serve as the new chair of the board of directors for the Miss America Organization. Carlson, who won the competition in 1989, will be the first former winner to chair the organization in it's nearly 100-year history.

The news was first reported by HuffPost Yashar Ali in an exclusive report on Monday. Carlson then confirmed the news on Twitter. "Honored to move this iconic program forward with so many amazing volunteers. #MissAmerica @MissAmericaOrg @MissAmerica," she tweeted.

Carlson became one of the most prominent faces of the 2017 movement against sexual misconduct in the workplace when she filed a lawsuit against then-Fox News head Roger Ailes, accusing the the late media mogul of sexual harassment. Carlson's appointment to the board of directors comes fewer than two weeks following a bombshell report, also by Ali in HuffPost, which led to the resignation of Sam Haskell, former CEO of the Miss America Organization. 

In a statement to HuffPost, Carlson said: "Everyone has been stunned by the events of the last several days, and this has not been easy for anyone who loves this program. In the end, we all want a strong, relevant Miss America and we appreciate the existing board taking the steps necessary to quickly begin stabilizing the organization for the future."

Ali's report from December 21 revealed emails between Haskell and a number of employees, including Lewis Friedman, the lead writer of the Miss America pageant telecast. The former CEO "regularly maligned, fat-shamed and slut-shamed the former Miss Americas, calling them shocking names and in one case laughing at the suggestion that one of the women should die."

After filing her lawsuit against Ailes and leaving Fox News, Carlson remained an outspoken advocate for other women and repeatedly pushed back against former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who was fired after $32 million sexual harassment settlement was reported by the New York Times on October 21.

In December, O'Reilly went after Lisa Bloom, who was one of the attorneys who O'Reilly claimed "attacked [him] with phony charges." He tied himself to President Trump, adding "I told you guys from the very beginning that many allegations were false and politically driven. There is big money behind trying to destroy Mr. Trump, me and others."

Carlson was having none of it, and she replied the following day with a simple rejection of O'Reilly's message: "Who are u fooling? U think we believe u paid $32 million for allegations that were 'false and politically driven?'"