Hope Hicks has been one of Donald Trump’s advisers since the campaign, acting as a one-woman press shop early on in his candidacy. On Tuesday, she was named as White House Communications Director, a job she held on an interim basis after the abrupt departure of Anthony Scaramucci last month.
She had been serving as the director of strategic communications and has been mentioned as one of Trump’s most trusted staffers on a regular basis.
But who is this 28-year-old woman from Greenwich, Connecticut? During the campaign, while she was a spokeswoman, Hicks rarely spoke to reporters, much less appeared on TV. And before working for Trump, she’d never had a job in politics before.
Check out the essential things you need to know about Hicks below.
After graduating from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, with an English degree, Hicks worked at the New York PR firm Hiltzik Strategies, the company that Ivanka Trump hired to help with her fashion line. She met Trump through his eldest daughter, and according to GQ‘s 2016 profile on Hicks, was poached from Hiltzik Strategies after dressing like Ivanka to win Trump over.
“Hicks is a product not of Washington but of the Trump Organization, a marble-walled universe where one’s delightful agreeability and ferocious loyalty are worth more than conventional experience,” the profile says.
During the campaign, she helped Trump tweet, decided who would and would not receive interviews with him, and attempted to put out several fires: Pope Francis calling out Trump’s wall rhetoric; Corey Lewandowski allegedly grabbing Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields’s arm; and the leaked Access Hollywood tape that produced the infamous “grab ‘em by the p—-” line.
Hicks was also the only person in the room with Trump during his interview with the New York Times in July. You remember the one — Trump confusingly suggested he believes health insurance only costs $12 a year and blasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, among other things (that now pale in comparison to his remarks Tuesday).
Before she became Trump’s righthand woman, Hicks dabbled in modeling and played lacrosse in college. “She is a hugger and a people pleaser, with long brown hair and green eyes, a young woman of distinctly all-American flavor — the sort that inspires Tom Petty songs, not riots,” as GQ described her in 2016.
Hicks was in Trump’s inner circle long before Sean Spicer or Scaramucci, the communications staffers who have most recently bitten the dust. She’s supposed to help Trump find a new, permanent communications director, so we’ll see if her history with the president will make her less vulnerable to the communications staffing curse.