Hope Charlotte Hicks (born October 21, 1988) is an American public relations consultant who served as the White House Communications Director for U.S. President Donald Trump from August 2017 until March 29, 2018. From January to September 2017, she was White House Director of Strategic Communications, a role created for her. She previously was a teenage model but then became press secretary and early communications director for Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, as well as the national press secretary for his presidential transition team, and before that was an employee of The Trump Organization. She was Trump's longest-serving political aide at the time of her resignation.
On February 27, 2018, Hicks testified to a Congressional committee that she had told "white lies" on Trump's behalf. The next day, Hicks announced her intention to resign as White House Communications Director. She left the White House a month later.
|White House Director of Communications|
September 12, 2017 – March 29, 2018
Acting: August 16 – September 12, 2017
|Preceded by||Anthony Scaramucci|
|1st White House Director of Strategic Communications|
January 20, 2017 – September 12, 2017
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Mercedes Schlapp|
|Born||Hope Charlotte Hicks
October 21, 1988
Greenwich, Connecticut, U.S.
|Education||Southern Methodist University (BA)|
Hicks is the daughter of Caye Ann (Cavender) Hicks and Paul Burton Hicks III. She grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut. Her father was Regional CEO, Americas of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, and executive vice president of communications for the National Football League from 2010 to 2015, before becoming managing director of the Glover Park Group. Her family had a history in politics: her mother was an aide to Ed Jones, a Democratic congressman from Tennessee; her maternal grandfather, G.W.F. "Dutch" Cavender, worked in the U.S. Department of Agriculture during two different administrations; and her maternal grandmother, Marilee Cavender, worked at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Hicks was a teenage model, appearing in Greenwich magazine in 2002. She then posed for a Ralph Lauren campaign with her older sister Mary Grace, and was the face of the Hourglass Adventures novels about a time-traveling 10-year-old. She was the cover model for The It Girl (2005), the first novel in the series by Cecily von Ziegesar.
Hicks attended Greenwich High School, where she was co-captain of the lacrosse team, and graduated in 2006. She then attended Southern Methodist University, where she majored in English and played on a club lacrosse program she helped start. She graduated in 2010.
Hicks started in public relations with the New York City firm Zeno Group. She began working for public relations firm Hiltzik Strategies in 2012, after meeting the firm's founder at an NFL Super Bowl event, and worked there for Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump, on her fashion line, and then on other Trump ventures.
In August 2014, Hicks joined The Trump Organization full-time. She worked for Ivanka Trump inside Trump Tower, helping expand her fashion label (the Ivanka Trump Collection) and modeling for her online store. In October 2014, she began working directly for Donald Trump.
In January 2015, Donald Trump chose Hicks, who was 26 years old at the time, for the role of press secretary for his potential presidential campaign. Trump summoned her to his office and, as she tells it, "Mr. Trump looked at me and said, 'I'm thinking about running for president, and you're going to be my press secretary.'" Until that time, she had never worked in politics or volunteered on a campaign. After Trump's first primary victories, Hicks was asked to choose between staying with the Trump Organization or working on the campaign full-time. She initially decided to leave the campaign, but Trump convinced her to remain and she stayed on as press secretary.
During the campaign, she played the role of gatekeeper to press members who wanted to speak with Trump, handling over 250 requests a day, and deciding which reporters would be allowed to speak with him. Hicks also took dictation from Trump for his tweets, and then sent the text to another person in the Trump organization who sent the tweets from Trump's official account. When in New York City, she would spend most of her day in Trump's office, handling inquiries from the press and taking dictation from him to tweet.
On December 22, 2016, it was announced that Hicks would become part of the Trump Administration, in the newly created position of the White House Director of Strategic Communications. In January 2017, Hicks was included on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, having "served as a one-woman press team for Trump's historic presidential campaign."
On August 16, 2017, she was made the interim White House Communications Director (the last Director having been Anthony Scaramucci). Politico labelled her the "Untouchable Hope Hicks," as she was considered one of the few White House officials whose job was safe, and one of only two White House communications officials Scaramucci had announced were definitely staying when he was first hired. She was appointed permanent White House Communications Director on September 12, 2017.
On February 27, 2018, Hicks gave nine hours of closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. She acknowledged that she sometimes had to tell "white lies" in her work as communications director, but refused to answer any questions about her tenure in the White House. The next day the White House confirmed to the New York Times that Hicks planned to resign. According to "multiple sources", she had been planning to resign for months, and her announcement was unrelated to the events of the preceding 24 hours. She officially resigned on March 29, 2018.
Hicks and her sister lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, but she split her time between an apartment there and an apartment in Manhattan. When Trump was elected, she moved to Washington, D.C.
Hicks allegedly dated Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski while he was still married to Alison Hardy. She later began dating former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter.
At age 11 she and her older sister were hired to model for Ralph Lauren. Soon she was in the pages of national magazines and had a cameo on the soap opera Guiding Light. She became the face of the Hourglass Adventures, a series of novels for preteen girls featuring a 10-year-old who travels back in time.
|White House Director of Communications