Hope Hicks: 6 Things to Know About the Teen Model Turned Interim White House Communications Director
Unlike her boss, Hicks has remained mostly under the radar.
First came Spicey, then "The Mooch." When all else failed, we always had Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Now rumor has it that Hope Hicks, the 28-year-old longest-serving political aide to the president who currently holds the position of strategic communications director, might just be the next White House communications director. She assumed the role of interim director on Wednesday, and, according to the administration, is helping to find the right person to fill the job. However, many speculate that the president will appoint Hicks herself. Should she be appointed, Hicks will be the youngest person to hold the position.
Unlike her predecessor, Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci — who has already given Hicks his approval on Twitter, as has Ivanka Trump — the Connecticut native has kept a relatively low profile. Even though she's been at the president's side since 2014, first working for the family by way of Ivanka's fashion line, she has scarcely spoken in public. She's only tweeted three times, and two of those tweets were retweets of the president. The third was a retweet of the first lady.
Hope is a terrific person and will do a great job. Wishing her the best.— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) August 16, 2017
Congratulations to my talented friend & colleague Hope Hicks on being named WH Communications Director. I know she will do an amazing job!— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 17, 2017
In an administration that's about as flashy as they come, Hicks' under-the-radar profile certainly makes her an anomaly. Here, everything to know about the interim White House communications director, from her previous political experience (which is nonexistent) and her connections to the Trump empire to her childhood ambitions (acting and modeling).
1. Before working for Donald Trump, Hicks worked on PR for Ivanka Trump's fashion line.
After graduating from Southern Methodist University, Hicks headed for New York to work at Hiltzik Strategies, a public relations firm. In 2012, she was assigned to work on a project for one of the firm's clients, the Ivanka Trump brand. Shortly thereafter in 2014, she was brought in-house for the Trump brand and was also featured on the Ivanka Trump label's blog in a mint-colored dress that was perfect for jumping "on the shuttle to D.C. to do press for our upcoming hotel and come back to NYC in time for drinks with my boyfriend without having to change."
2. She routinely declines to be interviewed.
As early as 2015, when she first began working on the Trump campaign, Hicks has been shying away from the spotlight. (Perhaps witnessing her boss' multitude of foot-in-mouth moments has scarred her, or perhaps she shares her boss' burning hatred for the media. Who's to say.) The Washington Post reported that she declined an interview for one of the first profiles about her role in the campaign. GQ reported that she also declined an interview with Olivia Nuzzi in 2016 and instead arranged for a chance for the writer to speak with Trump about Hicks while Hicks was in the room. (In said interview, Trump described the 28-year-old with one of his most trite Trump-isms, calling her "absolutely terrific.")
i think i can honestly say this is the first time i've heard hope hicks speak pic.twitter.com/HuidZhCNVk— David Mack (@davidmackau) December 17, 2016
3. She was a teen model with acting aspirations.
In her early years, Hicks was a model with aspirations to be an actress. After appearing in a Ralph Lauren ad, she told her hometown magazine Greenwich (that's tony Greenwich, Conn.) in a cover story about her and her sister's teen modeling careers, that if neither acting nor politics worked out, "I could really see myself in politics. Who knows?" Most memorably she was on the cover of the YA novel It Girl, a spinoff of the popular Gossip Girl series.
Omg I just heard that hope hicks the new communications director is the girl from the cover of the it girl. Middle school me is so confused pic.twitter.com/WR7OpcuC36— Asha Xamdi (@ashaxamdi) August 17, 2017
4. Her father was a politician in her hometown and even got a day named in his honor.
Earlier this year, Hicks' father — a former town selectman — was recognized for his philanthropy with his very own celebratory holiday. In Greenwich, April 23 is known as Paul B. Hicks III Day. The Hickses have a long history in the public eye; her grandfather led the public relations for Texaco during the oil crisis in the 1970s.
5. She is in the highest salary bracket of Trump's aides, meaning she makes as much as Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon.
Like many millennials, Hicks occasionally retreats to her parents' home in Greenwich when she gets a reprieve from life in D.C., but she's certainly not dependent on her fam. According to a White House release, she makes $179,700, which puts her in the highest bracket alongside Trump's top aides.
6. The president and his team like to give her pet names.
According to Politico, the president has nicknamed Hicks "Hopester," though she still calls him "Mr. Trump" even after three years at his side. Sam Nunberg, one of Trump's former aides who was fired in 2016 after racially charged Facebook posts were found on his profile, liked to refer to her as "Hopesicle."
Nunberg said of Hicks, "She was very cute, because she was very anxious at first about all of [the campaign]... I joked with her once, like, ‘You're like my Peggy, like I'm Don Draper.’ ”