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Max Young

Adams’s communications director left the administration to work for Pfizer, but will he come back to help his old boss win reelection in 2025?


  • New York Communications Director/Deputy State Director, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer
  • VP of Global External Affairs, 100 Resilient Cities
  • Chief External Affairs Officer for the MTA
  • Senior Advisor, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
  • Chief Public Affairs Officer and Senior VP, Everytown for Gun Safety
  • Director of Communications for Mayor Eric Adams


  •  Vice President, Executive, Digital and Policy Communications, Pfizer

When Eric Adams hired Maxwell Young to oversee his communications operation at City Hall, Young said he was looking forward to “telling the story of the dedicated public servants that work for our government.” Sometimes, this meant explaining away the ethical questions about the mayor’s after-hours activity raised by the New York Times, or insisting to Politico that no, Mayor Adams does not eat fish at his favorite Midtown Italian joint, only to watch as the mayor, two days after the report, admitted his penchant for pesce.

When Young wasn’t fielding requests for comment from reporters, he was trying to help his boss bypass the media to reach New Yorkers. Adams mostly didn’t like the coverage he was getting, and didn’t want to go on harder-hitting, live radio shows like his predecessor (yes, sometimes Brian Lehrer is hard-hitting!) The solution: a newsletter and a podcast—”Hear from Eric” and “Get Stuff Done-Cast,” respectively, two projects that Young spearheaded. Currently, “Get Stuff Done-Cast,” which releases bimonthly episodes, has a 4.1 star rating on Apple podcasts, from seven ratings. (The most recent episode from October 25 features the mayor and Kate MacKenzie, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Food Policy. “Kate, sum it up, basically: food policy, your office, and what it actually does,” Adams says. “If someone’s out there on the street, you’re at a dinner party, you’re at a bar, restaurant, and some guy comes up and hit on you, how would you define your job?”)

Young was earning a $211,150 annual salary when he left the administration in late June, one of several top deputies who quit City Hall around the same time. “People will leave, but one thing remains the same: our commitment to handling the crises we inherited, turning this city around, and improving the lives of all New Yorkers,” Young told the Times in June when his departure was announced. In early September, he announced he was working at Pfizer. 

But once you’re in Adams’s orbit, it’s not easy to leave: Politico reported that Young is “expected to be involved in Adams’s re-election bid in 2025.”

“When I left City Hall I said I would do whatever the campaign needed to help Mayor Adams get re-elected, and I feel that just as strongly now,” Young told Hell Gate when we sent him a list of questions. “I’m proud of my work in the administration, proud to have worked for Eric, and believe he was and is the best person for the job.”

Asked if that meant that he’d be helping the Adams campaign by working for it, Young clarified that this meant his role would not be in the official campaign.

Last updated: 12/18/2023


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