The Miss Universe Organization crowned Miss District of Columbia USA Kára McCullough Miss USA at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The special programming event aired live on FOX, and featured women who continue to break pageant stereotypes, including a top 5 whose professions include a scientist, a financial literacy advocate, a professional dancer, a pediatric nurse, and a marketing student who emigrated from India.
Kára is the second consecutive contestant from District of Columbia to win the competition following Deshauna Barber’s victory in 2016. As the first active military member to hold the Miss USA title, Deshauna was most recently promoted to Captain in the United States Army Reserve. She plans to continue her work in the Army Reserve and pursue a career as a motivational speaker. This marks the first time since 1989 a delegate won the title back-to-back.
Born in Naples, Italy to a now-retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer, Kára works as a scientist at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Kára earned her degree in radiochemistry from South Carolina State University. She is the founder of a community outreach program called “Science Exploration for Kids” (SE4K), which creates interactive activities celebrating math and science to cultivate a passion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among children. Outside of her work for the government and in her community, Kára is an avid cook. Kára is the seventh woman born outside the United States to hold the Miss USA title.
Viewers around the world helped their favorite contestant advance throughout the competition via a global fan vote, which saw nearly a million votes cast during the two-hour telecast. The competition also trended worldwide on Twitter.
The live telecast featured narratives filmed in the contestants’ hometowns highlighting their professional successes and community accomplishments; as well as a roundtable discussion about the American Dream; and a special tribute to the contestants’ mothers in honor of Mother’s Day.
The competition sourced its final questions for the interview portion of the show from the Skimm. A media company with an engaged community of more than five million active subscribers, theSkimm is changing the way female millennials consume news and information. More than 1,000 questions were submitted. Topics included challenges that women face in the workplace, global perception of the United States, suicide prevention, healthcare and the impact of social media in society.