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

Business Insider

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.


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.

Hope Hicks, press secretary for President-elect Donald Trump's campaign, exits an elevator in the lobby at Trump Tower in New York, NY on Wednesday, Jan. 04, 2017.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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

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.

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.

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)

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.

Hope Hicks, press secretary for the Trump campaign, gets into an elevator at Trump Tower, November 15, 2016 in New York City.

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

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.”

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.”

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.

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.

Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway depart the Blair House in Washington, DC on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.

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.

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.”

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, 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.

Sources: Daily Caller, New York Times, CNN

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

Sources: Daily Caller, New York Times, CNN

This article originally appeared on BusinessInsider.com