The summer of 2014 will likely be a long one for these PR professionals.
1. Josh Taylor, Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Taylor is acting assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs for the VA, which is enmeshed in a national scandal drawing outrage from every corner of politics, media and the public. The former Hill PR aide spent the past two years as press secretary for the VA and has his work cut out this summer.
Also, give a well-timed exit award to Taylor's predecessor, Tommy Sowers, an Iraq war vet who left the assistant secretary post in early April to teach at his alma mater Duke University just weeks before CNN broke the scandal story.
2. Nick Merrill, Office of Hillary Clinton
Merrill is a young veteran of Clinton's State Department and 2008 presidential campaign and the former Secretary of State's main PR voice as she travels on her book/pre-presidential campaign tour.
He was groomed by Clinton communications consigliore Phillippe Reines and will likely spend most of the summer (and beyond) with his boss in the media spotlight tackling questions on everything from Benghazi to her bank account.
3. Tony Cervone, General Motors
Cervone ran into the fire when he left Volkswagen to return to General Motors in May amid its never-ending recall, replacing the ousted PR chief Selim Bingol.
Cervone reports directly to CEO Mary Barra and will play a big part in whether the carmaker moves past the relentless drip of recall news by the fall.
4. Amin Massoudi, Office of the Toronto Mayor
Massoudi, who heads communications and media relations for the Office of the Toronto Mayor, has his crack-smoking, outburst-prone boss back at work this week after a rehab stint. Ford is a cult hero and a PR time bomb.
5. Allan Mayer, American Apparel
The seasoned crisis and entertainment PR pro found himself named co-chairman of American Apparel last month after the ouster of high-profile, mercurial founder Dov Charney.
Mayer has been a board member of the retailer for years but is now playing a key role in the company's future as it looks for a successor to Charney, who is not going down without a fight.
| Comella, Drewniak
6. Michael Drewniak & Maria Comella, Gov. Chris Christie
Drewniak, chief spokesman for Christie, has already testified in the Bridgegate scandal. Comella is communications director for Christie and a seasoned GOP PR operative from her days on the Hill and with Rudy Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign.
Both face the summer PR task of a daunting travel schedule serving a governor repairing his national image, mulling a presidential bid and fending off disgruntled constituents at every public appearance.
7. Michele Sicard & Bertrand Cizeau, BNP Paribas
The French bank this week pled guilty and will pay a record $8.9B penalty to federal and state criminal charges in the US for covering up business with rogue states like Sudan, Cuba and Iran.
Cizeau is the Paris based communications chief of BNP while Sicard heads corporate communications for the Americas. The duo starts July with global image repair atop the agenda.
8. Janice Kapner, T-Mobile
Uncle Sam has T-Mobile in its crosshairs. On July 1, the Federal Trade Commission accused the company of overbilling since 2009, while the Federal Communications Commission confirmed a probe of the company's billing practices sparked by consumer complaints.
Kapner, who made move to T-Mobile from Microsoft in September, heads corporate communications for the Bellevue, Wash.-based telecom, which has been positioning itself for a merger with Sprint that would need a federal nod. This comes less than three years after regulators scuttled a $39B AT&T/T-Mobile merger.
9. Josh Earnest, White House
The newly minted press secretary probably didn't expect a leisurely summer in his new post, but Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan elections, the aforementioned VA scandal, a cranky Congress, looming midterm elections, Benghazi, the IRS, and the inevitable yet unknown crises to develop will see him earning his $172,200 salary and then some.
10. Michael Bass, NBA
NBA chief Adam Silver earned plaudits for his PR performance in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal earlier this year. Bass heads communications for the NBA and should get some credit for that. But his work continues, as Sterling isn't going anywhere this summer.