Leadership

6 things you may not know about Hope Hicks, who plans to resign as Trump's White House communications director

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Pool | Getty Images

Just over a year into Donald Trump's presidency, White House communications director Hope Hicks announced she plans to resign from the position in the coming weeks, NBC News confirmed Wednesday.

One of Trump's first campaign staffers and longest-serving aides, Hicks previously served as Trump's senior communications adviser. She had planned to step down for months, according to The New York Times, which first reported the news.

"Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years," President Donald Trump said in a statement. "She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person. I will miss having her by my side but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood. I am sure we will work together again in the future."

Eight months into Trump's presidency, Hicks took over the position from Anthony Scaramucci, who served 10 days as White House communications director before being fired on July 31, 2017. At the time, Hicks was named the administration's interim communications director.

At 29, the soon-to-be former Trump aide has an English degree from the Southern Methodist University and a relatively new career in politics.

Here are six things you may not know about Hicks.

She was among the youngest, highest-paid White House staffers in 2017

While working as an assistant to the president and director of strategic communications, Hicks was among the top 19 highest-paid Trump White House staffers last year.

US President-elect Donald Trump gestures as he thanks campaign manager Kellyanne Conway (L) and press secretary Hope Hicks (2nd-L) during a 'Thank You Tour 2016' rally on December 17, 2016.
Jim Watson | Getty Images
US President-elect Donald Trump gestures as he thanks campaign manager Kellyanne Conway (L) and press secretary Hope Hicks (2nd-L) during a 'Thank You Tour 2016' rally on December 17, 2016.

She reportedly earned $179,700 in 2017, which made Hicks one of the six top-paid women in the White House (raking in just as much as Kellyanne Conway).

She has close ties to the Trump family

In 2012, Hicks worked for Hiltzik Strategies, the public relations firm that represented Ivanka Trump's luxury fashion lines at the time, reports the Hartford Courant. The same firm allowed her to work PR for the Trump real estate brand, immediately after which Trump asked Hicks to join his campaign.

As the Trump Organization's communications director, Ivanka Trump featured Hicks on her brand's style blog.

When Trump visited Mar-a-Lago in 2016, Hicks' family traveled to visit as well, The New York Times reports.

Last year, Hicks joined Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump for Shabbat dinner at their Kalorama mansion, Politico reports.

She didn't think she would be in politics...

Hicks was named to the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list and says she knew very little about politics prior to the Trump campaign. She adds that running Trump's campaign and working in D.C. politics are "two totally different things."

    "I think now, being a novice is much more jarring to me than being a novice on a campaign because there are so many people that are new to it, you're all sort of trying to figure everything out as it comes to you whether you know what you have experience in or not," she tells Forbes.

    "If I hadn't gotten involved in the campaign I would've hopefully still be working at the Trump organization in a corporate capacity for such a wonderful family and they built an incredible company and it was an honor to serve them in these different ways," she says.

    ...but communications and politics run in the family

    Paul Hicks, her father, once worked as chief of staff for Republican U.S. representative Stewart McKinney. However, he turned to the private sector to become a regional CEO for Ogilvy public relations, a leading communications executive for the National Football League and most recently a sports communications manager with the NFL as a client, the Hartford Courant reports.

    Hicks' late grandfather was also a top public relations figure for Texaco.

    Trump has special nicknames for her

    While Trump calls her "Hopester," she continues to call him "Mr. Trump," reports Politico. The New York Times also reported that she at one point had a thank you note from Trump above her Trump Tower desk: "Hopie — You're the greatest!"

    She used to model

    With the likes of past models Melania and Ivanka Trump in the White House, it's notable that Hicks was also once a model.

    At 11, she and her sister were hired for a Ralph Lauren campaign, the Hartford Courant reports. As a teen, Hicks also modeled for Ford, according to The New York Times.

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          This is an updated version of a story that appeared previously.