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Hope Hicks: From the Hilltop to the White House

SMU’s famous slogan is “World Changers Shaped Here.” While SMU students know that this education is one in a million, so do its alumni. SMU has many famous alumni including Laura Bush, Kathy Bates, Doak Walker and Ray L. Hunt. An SMU education can take anywhere in the world, even to the White House.

Think I’m kidding? Think again. 2010 SMU graduate, Hope Hicks, is now working as White House Director of Communications.

Hope Hicks started at SMU in 2006 and graduated in 2010. While at SMU, she majored in English, was a member of Pi Beta Phi, and helped start the lacrosse team. She was quite involved at SMU, thriving on and after the Hilltop.

In 2014, she began working for a public relations firm, Hiltzik Strategies. While there, she began working with Ivanka Trump. Hicks began to model for Ivanka’s online store and expanded her label. This is where Hicks started getting close with the Trumps. Little did she know, this would change her career.

Only a few months later, Hicks would be named Donald Trump’s press secretary when planning his potential presidential run. In fact, it is said that she was never asked to join, but told she was going to take on this role. Hicks had never worked in politics or nevertheless, a presidential campaign, and she was the only young woman to work in his campaign. After Trump’s initial primary victories, Hicks was asked to stay on full-time on the campaign.

Taking on this role was a huge leap for Hope. She began receiving over 250 calls a day. She was called “a gatekeeper for Donald Trump,” which meant that she decided which reporters got to speak to the presidential candidate. Hicks also was in control of Donald Trump’s world-famous Twitter account. She heard first what he was going tweet. She then sent the text to another person in the Trump organization who actually sent out the tweets from Trump’s official account. Hicks began spending most of her days handling calls from reporters and managing Trump’s Twitter page.

While Donald Trump was transitioning into the Oval House, he created a special spot for Hope. She was going to serve in the newly created position, White House Director of Strategic Communication. After Anthony Scaramucci left, she was appointed interim White House Communications Director. Early in September, she was named White House Communications Director, where she serves today and makes the top salary in the White House.

Since taking such a dominant role, she has taken on the nickname, “the Untouchable Hope Hicks.” Hicks was also included in the 2017 “Forbes 30 Under 30” list.

Image via Forbes Magazine


This is only one example of a world changer at SMU. We are surrounded by them every day, and that is what makes going to SMU so great. An SMU education is truly different from everywhere else. SMU is one in a million.

Paige Wilson is a sophomore at Southern Methodist University majoring in Journalism and Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations. She is aiming for a career in law or broadcast journalism and plans on moving to the "Big Apple" after college. When she is not studying, she is either re-watching The Office, online shopping, or looking to try a new sushi or Italian restaurant.
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