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Meet the 28-Year-Old Woman Trump Tapped as Interim White House Communications Director

August 18, 2017, 3:39 PM UTC

Hope Hicks, 28, may be named President Donald Trump’s White House communications director shortly. But before joining Trump’s campaign, she had no political experience.

Hicks was born in Greenwich, a town of 60,000 on the southwest tip of Connecticut that’s a favorite spot for hedge-fund headquarters.

She was a model, actress, and lacrosse player as a child, before getting her English degree at Southern Methodist University.

Hicks didn’t intend on playing such a large role in a presidential campaign, instead falling into the gig through a job at the Trump Organization.

But she now finds herself as one of Trump’s youngest advisers, serving as his new interim communications directorin the White House.

And Hicks has been with Trump — to use his words — “from the beginning.” She stuck on his campaign through several staff revamps, including two high-profile changes at the campaign-chair position.

Here’s what we know about Hicks.

Hicks and her sister, Mary Grace, were successful teen models. Hicks posed for Ralph Lauren and appeared on the cover of “It Girl,” a spin-off of the best-selling “Gossip Girl” book and TV series.


Source: New York Times

Hicks’ first brush with the Trumps came in 2012 when she was at the public-relations firm Hiltzik Strategies working on Ivanka Trump’s fashion line. Trump’s eldest daughter hired Hicks away in 2014 and she became an employee of the Trump Organization.

Sources: New York Times, GQ, NYMag

Hicks met patriarch Trump and quickly “earned his trust,” Ivanka Trump told The New York Times for a June 2016 profile on the spokeswoman.

Donald Trump, Hope Hicks
Donald Trump, left, speaks his campaign communications manager Hope Hicks, right, as he arrives for service at First Presbyterian Church in Muscatine, Iowa, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. Andrew Harnik—AP
Andrew Harnik—AP

Source: New York Times

In January 2015, Trump called Hicks into his office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower and told her she was joining his presidential campaign. “I think it’s ‘the year of the outsider.’ It helps to have people with outsider perspective,” Hicks said Trump told her.

Jabin Botsford—The Washington Post/Getty Images
Jabin Botsford—The Washington Post/Getty Images

Source: NYMag

Hicks didn’t have any political experience, but her public-relations roots run deep. Both grandfathers worked in PR, and her father, Paul, was the NFL’s executive vice president for communications and public relations. He was also a town selectman from 1987 to 1991. Greenwich proclaimed April 23, 2016, as Paul B. Hicks III Day.

Inauguration Day
Hope Hicks, aide to President Donald J. Trump, takes a picture on the West Front of the Capitol after Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, January 20, 2017. Tom Williams—AP
Tom Williams—AP

Source: Town of Greenwich, GQ

Hicks started working on what would become Trump’s campaign five months before Trump announced his presidency, after he famously rode a golden escalator down to the lobby of his tower on June 16, 2015.

Hope Hicks (L) and David Bossie, Trump deputy campaign manager, watch as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump addresses the final rally of his 2016 presidential campaign at Devos Place in Grand Rapids, Michigan on November 7, 2016. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

That makes Hicks the campaign staffer who has persisted in Trump’s inner circle the longest. She outlasted his first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and several senior advisers.

Hope Hicks, Steven Bannon, Reince Priebus, Stephen Miller
White House adviser Hope Hicks (L-R), Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and senior adviser Stephen Miller, walk across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, April 29, 2017, to board Marine One helicopter and join President Donald Trump for the short flight to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., before traveling to Harrisburg, PA., for a rally. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP
Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP

People close to her describe Hicks as a friendly, loyal fighter. Trump has called her a “natural” and “outstanding.”

Trump Rally
UNITED STATES – FEBRUARY 28: Hope Hicks, communications aide for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, attends a campaign rally at Madison City Schools Stadium in Madison, Ala., February 28, 2016. Tom Williams—AP
Tom Williams—AP

While reporters who have worked with Hicks say she’s polite, they have expressed frustration that she was often unreachable on the campaign trail, not responding to requests for comment, or denying access to the candidate.

President-Elect Donald Trump Holds Meetings At Trump Tower
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 12: Trump campaign communications director Hope Hicks talks on her phone in the lobby at Trump Tower, December 12, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

She said her mom, Caye, told her to write a book about her experience with Trump, like “Primary Colors,” the fictional novel depicting President Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign. “You don’t even know,” she said she told her mother.

Donald Trump, Hope Hicks
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, center, talks with his press secretary Hope Hicks during a tour of the Flint Water Plant and Facilities, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, in Flint, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)Evan Vucci—AP
Evan Vucci—AP

Source: NYMag, Primary Colors

During the campaign, Hicks spent most of her days fielding reporters’ requests and questions — even reportedly taking dictation from Trump to post his tweets.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer Holds Briefing
Hope Hicks, White House director of strategic communications, center, and Kellyanne Conway, senior advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump, arrive before a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Jan. 23, 2017. Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images
Sources: NYMag, NYT

During the campaign, Hicks stayed in a free apartment in a Trump building, though she’d often go home to her parents’ house in Connecticut when she could.

President-Elect Donald Trump Holds Meetings At His Trump Tower Residence In New York
Hope Hicks, press secretary for the Trump campaign, gets into an elevator at Trump Tower, November 15, 2016 in New York City.Drew Angerer Getty Images
Drew Angerer—Getty Images

These days she’s in DC. Trump named her his assistant to the president and director of strategic communications in December.

White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks steps off Air Force One on February 6, 2017 upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. MANDEL NGAN—AFP/Getty Images

Source: Trump administration

Read More: Trump’s chief of staff jokes: ‘Best job I ever had was as a sergeant in the Marine Corps’

She still flies below the radar, directing the spotlight back on Trump. The then president-elect called her up to the microphone to speak at a “Thank You” rally in December.

It’s been said she can act as a sort of Trump whisperer, understanding his many moods and professionally executing what needs to be done. She still only calls him “Sir” or “Mr. Trump.”

Trump Holds Joint Press Conf. With King Abdullah II Of Jordan At White House
White House Senior Advisor, Kellyanne Conway (L), stand with White House Communications Director, Hope Hicks, during a news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump and King Abdullah II of Jordan, at the White House April 5, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Sources: New York Times, GQ, NYMag

“If the acting thing doesn’t work out, I could really see myself in politics,” Hicks told Greenwich Magazine when she was 13. “Who knows.”

President Donald Trump
White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks listens as President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau host a meeting with women business leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Feb. 13, 2017. Jabin Botsford—The Washington Post/Getty Images

Sources: New York Times

Read More: Kellyanne Conway and other women reveal what it’s like to work in Trump’s White House

In June, the White House released salary info for 377 top staffers. Hicks gets paid the maximum amount that any of Trump’s aides receive: $179,700.

President Trump Holds Bilateral Meeting With Japanese PM Shinzo Abe
White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks (L) and Senior Counselor to the President and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon walk down the West Wing Colonnade. Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

Source: The White House

Hicks is making as much as Trump’s former chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon, former press secretary Sean Spicer, senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, policy adviser Stephen Miller, and communications official Omarosa Manigault.

Republican president-elect Donald Trump Inaugeration Day
Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway depart the Blair House in Washington, DC on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. Jabin Botsford—The Washington Post/Getty Images
Jabin Botsford—The Washington Post/Getty Images

Source: The White House

Some family members and friends have expressed concern that Hicks is so closely tied to a president whose policies and statements are unpopular with a significant number of Americans, but are confident that she’ll come through unscathed.

President Trump Signs Executive Orders On Oil Pipelines
President Donald Trump signs one of five executive orders related to the oil pipeline industry in the Oval Office of the White House January 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. Looking on are White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, Senior Advisor Jared Kushner (2nd R) and Senior Counselor Stephen Bannon (R). Shawn Thew—Pool/Getty Images

Sources: New York Times, GQ

“There is just no way that a camera or an episode or a documentary could capture what has gone on. There is nothing like it,” Hicks told Marie Claire in June 2016. “It is the most unbelievable, awe-inspiring thing.”

President Trump Participates In Roundtable With Women Small Business Owners
Hope Hicks, White House director of strategic communications, listens while meeting with women small business owners on March 27, 2017. Andrew Harrer—Pool/Getty Images

Source: Marie Claire

Read More: Here’s who Trump has appointed to senior leadership positions

In August, Trump asked Hicks to be the new interim White House director of communications, a job that Michael Dubke, Sean Spicer, and Anthony Scaramucci held and left in Trump’s first six months in office. The White House will announce who will serve in the job permanently “at the appropriate time.”

Hope Hicks
Hope Hicks, adviser to President Donald Trump, walks to her seat before the start of the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017.Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP
Pablo Martinez Monsivais—AP

Sources: Daily Caller, New York Times, CNN

The 28-year-old Hicks is the youngest communications director in history.

Visitors At Trump Tower During President-Elect's Transition To The White House
Hope Hicks, incoming White House Director of Strategic Communications, walks through the lobby of Trump Tower in New York on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. Peter Foley—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Sources: Daily Caller, New York Times, CNN

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