Leidar, a Geneva-based firm, expands into the US with the opening of offices in New York and Washington. Leidar USA is being led by executives from LEVICK Strategic Communications, and Leidar founder and CEO Rolf Olsen says that “the entire LEVICK team has accepted positions at Leidar.” John Lovallo will lead the New York office as managing director, corporate affairs & financial; Max Marcucci will work out of the DC office as managing director, risk & reputation; and Phil Armstrong has been engaged as managing director for public affairs in addition to serving as interim COO for Leidar USA. The two agencies partnered on engagements internationally for nearly a decade prior to the recent death of LEVICK founder Richard Levick. “Leidar will seek to carry on the extraordinary legacy of Richard Levick as we serve our clients around the world.”

Ben Merritt,
Kira Rose Wojack

Merritt & Rose Communications, which specializes in working with startups, is launched by a group of agency veterans including Merritt Group founder Ben Merritt and Kira Rose Wojack. Merritt and Wojack have worked together since 2020 with a range of technology, B2B, music and film clients including Neosec (recently acquired by Akamai), Galen Robotics (raised a $15m Series A last year), Zebrium (acquired by ScienceLogic) and Strikedeck (acquired by Medallia). Merritt & Rose is partnering with Strass Collins & Co., an agency branding and social media services. “The early-stage ecosystem is a brutal place, and even with a unique answer to a pervasive problem, companies still have to carve out a compelling position and rise above the noise in an often-crowded market. That’s where we come in,” said Merritt.


The Global Situation Room’s podcast division, Situation Room Studios, enters the fray of the Republican 2024 primary race with the release of the first four episodes of “Press Advance with Johanna Maska,” hosted by GSR chief executive officer Joanna Maska. The podcast will talk to leaders in the Republican party including former Maryland governor Larry Hogan, who addresses what he wants to see out of the candidates from his party today, as well as Kristin Davis, COO for the pro-DeSantis super PAC “Never Back Down” and Alyssa Farah Griffin, who was vice president Mike Pence’s spokesperson. “So many are tired of a media environment that divides,” said Maska. “What we strive to do with Press Advance is the opposite, bring people together with facts, humor and grace.” The podcast is available on platforms including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.


The Davos Communications Awards for 2023, organized by the World Communications Forum Association (WCFA), are open for entries. Organizations, in-house teams, professionals, institutions and students from all over the world can submit their work until June 30, on the official website. Participants get the benefits of the annual WCFA Individual Membership for free by participating at the Awards with three or more applications. This year, the awards have expanded their categories to encompass a wider range of communication disciplines, including public relations, marketing, branding, social media, leadership, and AI. Entries are accepted in 41 categories. The winners and finalists will be celebrated during an awards ceremony in Davos, Switzerland, where they will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders and experts at a gala dinner.