15 Things You Should Know About Hope Hicks, Donald Trump’s New White House Communications Director
President Trump tapped his longtime aide Hope Hicks as interim White House director of communications in August, and this morning Bloomberg reports the that the former Trump campaign press secretary will stay in the role on a permanent basis.
One of the 28-year-old’s first tasks in her new job could involve an inquiry in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Hicks is on a list of six aides to President Trump whom Mueller’s team advised the White House they would like to interview, the Washington Post reported last week. Also on the list are former press secretary Sean Spicer and former chief of staff Reince Priebus. Hicks was reportedly involved in discussions with another press aide, Josh Raffel, about how to respond to media questions about Donald Trump, Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower.
Here’s what else we know about Hicks:
SHE’S A BIT OF AN ENIGMA.
Though she’s a gatekeeper to members of the press who want access to Trump, she’s made very few public appearances herself. She tends to stay behind the camera, advising her boss on press strategy. In December, though, she made a rare public appearance at a Trump victory rally in Mobile, Alabama when the president-elect invited the then-27-year-old onstage.
SHE GREW UP IN THE TONY NEW YORK CITY SUBURB OF GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT.
SHE’S A FORMER ATHLETE.
Hicks swam at Greenwich Country Club, was co-captain of the lacrosse team at Greenwich High School, and played lacrosse all four years in college.
SHE ALSO WORKED AS A MODEL.
At 11, she and her sister were hired for a Ralph Lauren campaign. She appeared on the cover of a Gossip Girl series offshoot and was also tapped as the face of the Hourglass Adventures, a set of novels about a time-traveling 10-year-old. (Hicks is still featured in the books’ online portal.)
AND DID SOME ACTING.
Hicks had a cameo on Guiding Light.
SHE COMES FROM A FAMILY WELL-VERSED IN POLITICS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS.
Her parents met while they were working on Capitol Hill—her mother as legislative aide for a democrat from Tennessee and her father as chief of staff for a republican congressman from Connecticut. Her father, Paul Hicks III, served as CEO of the Americas for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and as executive vice president of communications and public affairs for the National Football League before starting his current job as managing director of the Glover Park Group. Her late grandfather, Paul Hicks, was in charge of public relations for Texaco.
SHE SPENT TIME IN TEXAS.
Hicks attended Southern Methodist University, where, one of her lacrosse coaches said, she was one of the only players to abide by the no-alcohol policy.
SHE’S A TEAM PLAYER.
Liz Holmes, one of her SMU coaches, told the Washington Post that “she is highly intelligent and brought that to the field in every game.” And while “when needed, she carried the team and would score, [she] preferred to have assists.”
IN 2012, TWO YEARS AFTER GRADUATING FROM SMU, SHE BEGAN WORKING AT A PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRM IN NEW YORK.
Hiltzik Strategies, her employer at the time, works with Ivanka Trump and the Trump Organization (its founder, Mathew Hiltzik, is known as a Democratic insider and has worked Hillary Clinton). In August 2014, the Trump organization brought her in-house. There, she handled PR for Ivanka Trump’s fashion line (here’s a street-style shoot she posed for) and a few Trump resorts, according to New York magazine.
DONALD TRUMP BROUGHT HER ON TO LEAD COMMUNICATIONS FOR HIS CAMPAIGN.
She was the “chief conduit to the candidate for hundreds of reporters,” the Boston Globe‘s Matt Viser wrote for T&C. “Hope’s been involved from the beginning, and she has been absolutely terrific,” the president-elect told GQ.
BUT UNTIL THAT TIME, SHE HADN’T WORKED IN POLITICS.
GQ called her “a registered but dispassionate Republican since 2008 [who] had never so much as volunteered on a campaign.”
WHILE SHE HELPED TRUMP BY TAKING DICTATION FOR HIS TWEETS DURING THE CAMPAIGN, YOU WON’T FIND HER ON TWITTER.
Unless you count the parody account @HicksNoComment, which satirizes Hicks’s lack of responsiveness.
SHE SEEMS TO BE WELL-LIKED AND ADMIRED BY BOTH HER BOSSES AND REPORTERS.
“Hope Hicks is incredible,” onetime Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort told the Hartford Courant. “She has shown incredible depth and breadth. I would never know this [was] her first campaign. She has an incredible skill set in dealing with the media.” Maggie Haberman, a New York Times political correspondent, echoed the sentiment: “I have always found Hope to be great to deal with,” Haberman told GQ, “especially given the volume of requests she must be getting.”
SHE’S LIVED IN A TRUMP APARTMENT.
Hicks has a sister, Mary Grace, with whom she lived in Greenwich, but before she moved to Washington after the inauguration she lived in a Trump building in New York City when was not traveling.
MAYBE SHE ALWAYS HAD AN INKLING THINGS WOULD WORK OUT THIS WAY?
“If the acting thing doesn’t work out,” Hicks told Greenwich magazine when she was 13, “I could really see myself in politics. Who knows?”
(Source: Town & Country)