From Matamata to the White House: Kiwi man appointed senior aide to Donald Trump

Kiwi Chris Liddell has been appointed an aide to the US President-elect and will be the Director of Strategic Initiatives to Donald Trump.

New York-based Chris Liddell has been assistant to the President-elect. Source: 1 NEWS

The 58-year-old was heavily involved in the Trump campaign, advising the team on its transition to the White House.

"Chris Liddell (has) led large, complex companies in the private sector, and (has) played instrumental roles throughout the transition," said President-elect Trump.  

"(His) skill sets are exactly what is needed to effect substantial change, including system-wide improvement to the performance of the government. I am delighted that (he) will be part of my executive team.

Mr Liddell said it's "an honour" to take on the role for Mr Trump and America.

Mr Liddell has been the Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft, International Paper, WME-IMG and General Motors.

At General Motors he was also Vice Chairman, and led the company's $23 billion return to public market, which at the time was the largest in history.

He has also been the Chief Executive Officer of an Asia-Pacific multinational public company, and was the Executive Director of the Romney campaign's transition planning team, where he authored a book on presidential transitions.

He has a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Auckland, and a Master of Philosophy from Oxford University.

Before the election he spoke to TVNZ 1's Q and A about Mr Trump.

"Donald Trump's a very atypical president. He's not a traditional Republican. He's not a traditional Democrat. He's a mixture of both of them. And if you want to take an optimistic view, and I'm optimistic, I think he will actually come up with some policies that both sides will be willing to look at," Mr Liddell told Q and A.

Mr Liddell was born in Matamata and is a companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. He's the Chairman of Next Foundation, one of New Zealand's largest philanthropic foundations focusing on education and the environment.

NEXT Foundation, which Mr Liddell is the chairman of, congratulated him on his appointment describing Mr Liddell as "an outstanding New Zealander".

"Importantly Chris is also a loyal New Zealander - and continues to be passionate about helping New Zealand realise its full potential," NEXT chief executive Bill Kermonde said in a statement.

"Chris' appointment is an outstanding achievement for a New Zealander - and a great opportunity to have a significant impact on a world stage."