Hope Hicks is the youngest ever White House communications director: Here’s how a 29-year-old with no political experience got into Trump’s inner circle

Hope Hicks.

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Hope Hicks.
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Hope Hicks, 29, is President Donald Trump’s full-time White House communications director. But before joining Trump’s 2016 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.

She now finds herself as one of Trump’s youngest advisers, promoted to communications director in September after being named “interim” in August.

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.

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.

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Corey Lewandowski, then campaign manager for Trump, stands nearby with Hicks as Trump holds a news conference in Bismarck, North Dakota, May 26, 2016.
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REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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.

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Hicks after a news conference at Trump Tower on May 31, 2016.
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REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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.

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Hicks crosses paths with Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (who was fired in June 2016) at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 18, 2016.
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REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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.

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Trump listens to Hicks as he tours the Flint Water Plant and Facilities in Michigan on September 14, 2016.
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REUTERS/Mike Segar

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


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.


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.

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Hicks during a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona on October 29 2016.
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REUTERS/Carlo Allegr’s

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.

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.

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Hicks departs Trump Tower in New York on November 11, 2016.
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REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

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

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Trump greets Conway and Hicks during a USA Thank You Tour event in Mobile, Alabama, on December 17, 2016.
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REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Source: Trump administration


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.”

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Hicks walks with deputy campaign manager David Bossie and senior political adviser Stephen Miller at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on December 19, 2016.
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REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

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.”

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Hicks, Conway, and former senior counselor Steve Bannon arrive for the presidential inauguration on January 20, 2017, in Washington.
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Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sources: New York Times


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.

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Hicks walk across the South Lawn of the White House to join Trump aboard Marine One with Steve Bannon, former chief of staff Reince Priebus, and Stephen Miller on April 29, 2017.
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Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

Source: The White House


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

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Hicks and Bannon walk down the West Wing Colonnade after a meeting between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on February 10, 2017.
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Chip Somodevilla/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.

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Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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.”

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Conway and Hicks watch the daily press briefing at the White House on January 30, 2017.
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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Source: Marie Claire


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.

Sources: Daily Caller, New York Times, CNN


The White House said it would announce the permanent choice for the position “at the appropriate time.” In September, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it would be Hicks.

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Hicks and Sanders walk through the lobby at Trump Tower in New York City on August 15, 2017.
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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


The 29-year-old Hicks is the youngest White House communications director in history.

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Hicks listens while Trump meets with female small-business owners in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 27, 2017.
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Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images

Sources: Daily Caller, New York Times, CNN