At just 28 years old, Hope Hicks got a major promotion: The Greenwich, Connecticut, native has been named interim White House communications director, the White House announced on Wednesday.
According to CNN, Hicks will assume the position left vacant by Anthony Scaramucci, who was ousted in July, and will juggle her new duties in addition to those that fall under her current gig as communications adviser.
The news blew up on Twitter, where Hicks was both congratulated and condemned for her lack of political experience. Now that we’ll undoubtedly see and hear more from Hicks, here are some fast facts about the rising-star millennial.
PR is in her blood. While she has no political experience outside of the current administration (in a 2016 profile, GQ called her “a registered but dispassionate Republican”), her father works in communications, first for the NFL and now as a partner at a PR firm.
She met the Trumps during postcollege life. According to GQ, in 2012, two years after graduating from Southern Methodist University in Texas, Hicks was employed at a New York City PR company where she worked with client Ivanka Trump‘s fashion brand. She ended up modelling for the line and began dressing like the first daughter, whom she reportedly idolised. From there, her “eager-to-please disposition” endeared her to Donald Trump, and in 2014, he hired her at the Trump Organisation.
Hicks makes a six-figure salary. Her annual salary is $179,700 (£140,000), the same as strategist Steve Bannon and former chief of staff Reince Priebus, per Politico.
Hicks was featured in a style profile on Ivanka Trump’s site. In 2015, Hicks modelled a green dress and was quoted saying, “In this outfit, I can jump on the shuttle to D.C. to do press for our upcoming hotel and come back to NYC in time for drinks with my boyfriend without having to change,” and “Dresses are easiest for me, especially on the road. I don’t have to think about pulling together an outfit. It’s one piece to put on, and then I’m out the door.”
Trump has a pet name for Hicks. It’s “Hopester” or “Hopie.” However, Hicks keeps it professional and calls him “Mr. Trump.”
Hicks wielded an incredible amount of power during Trump’s presidential campaign. She received up to 250 requests per day to speak with him, but she bore the sole responsibility of deciding “who gets in and who’s kept out.”
She’s a workaholic. Hicks’s busy schedule leading up to the election was the catalyst for her breakup with her boyfriend of six years (whose identity isn’t publicly known). And Hicks’s mother, Caye, told the New York Times that her daughter is all work, no play. “She doesn’t really talk to anybody anymore; she has no life,” she said.
She’s notoriously shy. Hicks agreed to a sit-down with GQ on one condition: She wouldn’t be interviewed personally. Instead, Donald Trump would speak for her while she sat in the same room. And in 2016, Hicks made a rare onstage appearance during the president’s “Thank You” tour after the election. “Hi,” she sheepishly greeted the crowd in Alabama. “Merry Christmas, everyone. And thank you, Donald Trump.”
i think i can honestly say this is the first time i've heard hope hicks speak pic.twitter.com/HuidZhCNVk
— David Mack (@davidmackau) December 17, 2016
Hicks is not social media savvy. Unlike her boss, Hicks doesn’t do much personal tweeting, but she does have a Facebook page with a professional head shot as a profile pic.
Still, Hicks suffered a social media scandal. In May, after she released an enthusiastic statement on the president’s “magnetic personality” in response to a Washington Post story that painted him as condescending to his staff, the 28-year-old was mocked on Twitter for her effusiveness.
She’s really committed to the president. “She believes in him, his leadership and abilities,” a Hicks family friend told the New York Times, “and she’s thrown herself completely into this.”
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