Hoda Kotb Is Engaged! All About the Today Show Anchor's Relationship with Fiancé Joel Schiffman
The two have been dating since 2013
The Today show anchor announced the news on-air Monday morning, revealing her longtime boyfriend Joel Schiffman proposed while the two were vacationing in Mexico over the weekend.
Read on for everything you need to know about Kotb’s husband-to-be and their sweet relationship as they raise two daughters together.
He works in finance.
According to his LinkedIn, Schiffman is the Head of U.S. Defined Contribution and Insurance Sales at an investment management company, Schroder Investment Management.
They met at a Wall Street event.
Kotb, 55, met Schiffman in 2013. The two dated quietly for a couple of years before going public in 2015.
“I met him at an event I didn’t want to go to,” she recalled on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen at the time. “It was pouring rain, it was yucky, it was a bunch of Wall Street guys — not my crowd. I had to give a speech, they were bored. When I was leaving, they said, ‘You need to sign a few pictures.’ He was next in line and he goes, ‘Can you sign this?’ And I said, ‘Who should I write it to?’ And he said, ‘How about to me?'”
“I asked someone from the place — I asked, ‘Will you find out his situation?'” she continued. “Because I didn’t know anything about him. I knew he didn’t have a wedding ring, but that’s all I knew. Then she emailed him and he emailed me and asked me out on a date.”
Kotb, who sweetly called Schiffman a “Jewish gentleman” and “the best guy,” said she kept the relationship under wraps at first because “it can get wrecked” in the public eye. “Now, it’s so solid that you feel comfortable,” she told Andy Cohen. “He’s adorable.”
She also opened up to PEOPLE about the relationship in 2015, calling Schiffman “the guy that gives me butterflies at 50 years old.”
“It’s one of the most natural relationships I’ve ever been in,” she said. “I’m so happy, I really am. But you know, sometimes you hate to jinx something. I’m like, ‘Don’t jinx it!'”
They’ve been living together for three years.
In October 2016, Kotb announced that she was moving in with Schiffman. “It’s a little weird to be in your 50s and we’re like, ‘Hey, we’re moving in!'” she said on SiriusXM’s The Hoda Show. “It’s like we’re kids. It’s so weird.”
Kotb, who was previously married to Burzis Kanga from 2005-2007, said that while she was “excited” to take the next step with Schiffman, she couldn’t help but feel a little nervous.
“It’s been so long since I’ve lived with someone, I’m a little concerned with me — not him,” she said. “Like, how I am, as a human? You know, it’s not going to be easy for poor Joel.”
They’re co-parenting Kotb’s daughters.
Kotb’s second daughter Hope Catherine arrived in April, joining 2½-year-old big sister Haley Joy. On the Today show Monday, Kotb said she and Schiffman have yet to announce the engagement news to their girls.
“How are we going to explain? ‘Your parents are going to get married,'” she said with a laugh. “We’re still trying to figure out that part, of how exactly to explain.”
After moving in with Schiffman in the fall of 2016, Kotb broached the idea of adopting together.
“I was afraid to even say it out loud because then it felt so real,” she told PEOPLE in March 2017, shortly after revealing her exciting adoption news. “I said, ‘Think about it for a day or a week or whatever.’ And he said, ‘I don’t need a day. Let’s get this journey going.’ At that point I blubbered like a baby. It was like the dam burst.”
Kotb worked with a licensed New York adoption agency and to simplify the process, she left Schiffman’s name off — though she insisted “Haley will call him Dad.” Within a matter of months, she finalized her adoption of baby Haley, who was born on Valentine’s Day in 2017.
And Schiffman, who has an adult daughter from a previous marriage, has “been so great,” Kotb previously told PEOPLE. “He’s such a great dad and a great influence,” she added.
Speaking to PEOPLE after adopting Hope this past April, Kotb recalled how the decision to expand their family came about.
“I mean, Joel, who is a prince, when I talked to him about two, I said, ‘Hey, I want to talk to you about something. I really feel like Hayley should have a sibling, just to go through life with,'” she said. “He said, ‘What took you so long?'”
Kotb said that when they first picked up Hope, Schiffman was in tears.
“They put Hope in my arms, and I looked at Joel’s face and he was crying,” she said. “I thought to myself, one thing I do pretty well is I pick great people in my life. I picked him, he picked me. I thought to myself, in that moment, that’s everything, that’s it.”
“And you know what’s funny?” she continued. “I was just thinking the other day about how everyone who matters in my life, a few years ago was a total and complete stranger. I walked into an event and met Joel. I didn’t know him from a sea of people in there, and all of a sudden, he became my life partner. Then two years and change ago, they put a strange, stranger in my arms and she was everything. And then, a few weeks ago, another stranger walked into our lives, and she’s everything.”
“It’s just so crazy how in the span of a handful of years the most important people stepped into my heart,” she added. “Now, I get to be with them to the end.”
Kotb didn’t exactly think she’d get married again.
During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show almost two years ago, Kotb opened up about the possibility of marrying Schiffman.
“Maybe, we might,” she said at the time. “I feel like everything’s great. He’s Haley’s dad. I’m Haley’s mom. We’re together. I feel like there’s not a rush other than we’re old, and we probably, if we’re going to do it, we might as well do it. But I think it’s fun like this. I don’t mind it. … We’re enjoying our lives. Yeah, I think we’re good this way.”
And on WWHL last year, Kotb gave the sweetest answer when asked whether the couple would ever tie the knot.
“I love Joel,” she said. “I mean, I’m going to be with Joel until my last breath — I know that.”
“Yeah, I think we might,” Kotb said with a smile. “I kind of like their vibe, don’t you think?”