As Agency Wars Escalate, ICM Partners Hires In-House Political Strategist

Hannah Linkenhoker Headshot - Publicity - P 2017
Courtesy of ICM Partners

It's the first such position for any Hollywood talent agency, and comes at a time when agencies are stepping up their political involvement in more visible ways.

ICM Partners has hired Hannah Linkenhoker to serve as in-house political strategist, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

It's the first such position for any Hollywood talent agency, and comes at a time when the agencies are taking different approaches to step up their political involvement in more visible ways. WME-IMG is planning to form a political action committee, according to a companywide memo circulated in early February, while UTA and CAA both held political events at their headquarters during Oscar week.

At ICM, Los Angeles-based Linkenhoker will provide education and guidance to both employees and clients interested in political engagement. She already had been working closely with the agency as managing director of political and philanthropic consultancy NMA Consulting Partners, a relationship that originated when ICM managing partner Chris Silbermann, an active Democrat, signed with NMA as a personal client several years ago.

“We are taking the national climate very seriously, and through this new venture, we will be institutionalizing our commitment to politics and civic engagement,” Silbermann said in a statement. “There is no better person to lead this effort than Hannah. She brings with her the respect of community leaders and elected officials, and we couldn't be more proud to have her join our company."

In 2016, Linkenhoker co-founded the political action committee Los Angeles Women's Collective, which works to elect more women to higher office. She also serves on the Geffen Playhouse’s advisory board and as a Green Dot Public Schools Ambassador.

"I'm excited to work with ICM Partners at such a critical moment in our country's history," Linkenhoker said in a statement. "Artists and storytellers have powerful voices that can be used to inspire and reshape our conversations, and I’m honored to join a team with shared values and a commitment to long-term civic impact."

UTA, which is holding offsite events for its female employees Wednesday in observance of A Day Without A Woman, held a rally in lieu of its Oscar party last month to benefit the ACLU and the International Rescue Committee.

Meanwhile, CAA hosted Take Action Day, a daylong summit featuring a full slate of speakers and interactive advocacy stations.