The U.S. Senate has confirmed the appointment of a top aide to Gov. Mike Beebe as head of the Delta Regional Authority, a federal agency that works to enhance the economy of the impoverished Mississippi Delta region in eight states.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed the appointment of a top aide to Gov. Mike Beebe as head of the Delta Regional Authority, a federal agency that works to enhance the economy of the impoverished Mississippi Delta region in eight states.

A news release Thursday from the Delta authority said the Senate voted the previous evening to confirm Chris Masingill as federal co-chair of the panel, a full-time post that makes Masingill essentially its top administrator.

Masingill, Beebe's director of intergovernmental affairs, has been serving as Beebe's alternate to the agency.

Masingill will report directly to the White House. He replaces Pete Johnson, who was appointed by President George W. Bush.