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Chris Liddell
Chris Liddell.jpg
White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination
Assumed office
March 19, 2018
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Rick Dearborn (Policy)
Personal details
Born Christopher Pell Liddell
(1958-04-24) April 24, 1958 (age 59)
Matamata, New Zealand
Political party Republican
Education University of Auckland (BEng)
Worcester College, Oxford (MPhil)

Christopher Pell Liddell CNZM (born 24 April 1958) is a New Zealand-born US-citizen[citation needed] businessman and philanthropist, who serves in the Executive Office (the White House) of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination. He previously served as Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives.[1] He has served as the Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of General Motors (GM) and CFO of Microsoft, Senior Vice President and CFO of International Paper, and CFO of William Morris Endeavor (WME/IMG).[2]

Early life[edit]

Liddell was born in Matamata, New Zealand, the youngest of five siblings. His father was a school teacher and died while Liddell was still young. His mother brought up the children by working a variety of jobs, including at Smith & Caughey's in Auckland.[3] Liddell received his secondary education at Mount Albert Grammar School; he is described as "academically bright".[3] Liddell is the only student in the history of the school to have been both Dux (academic champion) and Victor Ludorum (sporting champion), also being awarded the prize for the best player in the rugby First XV.[4] He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree with honors from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and a Master of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England.[5]


New Zealand[edit]

He started his career working from 1983 to 1995 as an investment banker and rose to Joint CEO and Managing Director of CS First Boston NZ.[6]

In 1995, Liddell trained for and completed the 1995 IRONMAN New Zealand Triathlon.[7]

From 1999 to 2002, he was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Carter Holt Harvey, an Asian Pacific forest products firm, then New Zealand’s second largest listed company with exports to Japan, China and Korea.[8] He had been CFO of Carter Holt Harvey from 1995 to 1998.

In 2010 he was awarded New Zealand Business Leader of the Year.[9]

In the 2016 New Year Honours, Liddell was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and philanthropy.[10]

United States[edit]

In January 2010 Liddell joined General Motors (GM) as CFO and led the company's global finance operations, including the successful $23 billion GM initial public offering (IPO), at the time the largest in history.[11] Previously, Liddell was a Senior Vice President and CFO of Microsoft where, from 2005 to December 2009, he was responsible for leading their worldwide finance organization. His responsibilities included overseeing corporate strategy, acquisitions, treasury activities, tax planning, accounting and reporting, internal audits and investor relations.[12] Prior to Microsoft, from 2003 to 2005, Liddell served as CFO of International Paper.[13] Since 2014, he has been working as the CFO of WME-IMG, a privately held company, in the media, sports and entertainment industry.[14]

In 2012, Liddell was Executive Director of Transition Planning for the Romney Presidential Campaign. Liddell is a recognized authority on presidential transitions and the author of Romney Readiness Project: Retrospectives and Lessons Learned.[15] He also was a director and treasurer of the Romney for President fundraising campaign, a joint fundraising vehicle with the Republican National Committee (RNC).[16]

In January 2017 he was appointed as Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives in Donald Trump's White House,[17][18][19][20][21][22][23] on a salary of $30,000.[24] He was appointed to the Office of American Innovation (OAI) when it was established on 27 March 2017, by virtue of his White House position. He was one of the four-person operational team of the OAI led by Jared Kushner, as of July 2017, where he was focusing on federal IT modernization.[25]


A native of New Zealand, Liddell has served as director of the New Zealand Rugby Union.[26]

In 2017, Chris and his brother John Liddell donated $1 million to Mount Albert Grammar. [27] Later that year, Liddell donated $450,000 to Auckland University to fund a postgraduate scholarship to Worcester College, Oxford.[28]

Liddell was Chairman of both the Next Foundation and of Xero, a cloud software company, but was forced to resign from these roles to take up his position with the Trump administration. [29]

He was chairman of Project Crimson,[30] a conservation group, and is active in a number of environmental projects in New Zealand, such as the restoration of Rotoroa Island and the Abel Tasman National Park.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[31] He was also a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting.


  1. ^ Restuccia, Andrew; Johnson, Eliana (March 19, 2018). "Kelly taps Kushner ally Chris Liddell as deputy chief for policy". Politico. 
  2. ^ "WME / IMG Adds Chris Liddell as CFO". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Read, Ellen (23 January 2017). "Trump's Kiwi man of mystery Donald Trump's assistant Chris Liddell 'driven and very smart'". The Press. p. A9. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ "WME / IMG Adds Chris Liddell as CFO". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  6. ^ Lublin, John D. Stoll And Joann S. (22 December 2009). "GM Taps Microsoft's Finance Chief". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "1995 Results"
  8. ^ "New CEO to lead Carter Holt Harvey | Scoop News". Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  9. ^ Dann, Liam (11 December 2010). "Business Leader of the Year 2010: Chris Liddell". New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  10. ^ "New Year Honours 2016 - Citations for Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit | DPMC". Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "Timeline: General Motors Stock Since 2010 Initial Public Offering". Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "Chris Liddell - CFO @ General Motors | crunchbase". Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  13. ^ Paper, International. "International Paper Promotes Chris Liddell to Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer". Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  14. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (30 July 2014). "WME/IMG Names Corporate Vet CFO as Agency Faces Post-Merger Scrutiny". Variety. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  15. ^ "NZ's Chris Liddell reveals extent of Romney role - and refuses to join doom merchants". The National Business Review. 11 November 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  16. ^ Parker, Ashley (16 August 2012). "Mitt Romney's Transition Team Is Hard at Work". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  17. ^ "Kiwi businessman Chris Liddell appointed as one of Donald Trump's assistants". New Zealand Herald. 18 January 2017. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  18. ^ O'Sullivan, Fran. "Kiwi businessman Chris Liddell appointed as Donald Trump's assistant". Newstalk ZB. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  19. ^ "Kiwi businessman Chris Liddell named as assistant to Donald Trump". Stuff. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  20. ^ "From Matamata to the White House: Kiwi man appointed senior aide to Donald Trump". 1 NEWS NOW. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  21. ^ Balakrishnan, Anita (17 January 2017). "Former Microsoft CFO joins Trump administration". CNBC. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  22. ^ "Kiwi named in Trump's team". Radio New Zealand. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  23. ^ "New Year's honour for former Microsoft and GM executive Christopher Liddell". Stuff. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  24. ^ Bindrim, Kira (1 July 2017). "All of Donald Trump's White House staffers, ranked by salary". Quartz. Retrieved 25 November 2017. 
  25. ^ Scola, Nancy (1 July 2017). "What Jared's office actually does". Politico. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  26. ^ "New Year Honours: Chris Liddell - A proud Kiwi made good". New Zealand Herald. 31 December 2015. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ [2]
  29. ^ "Google". Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  30. ^ "Carter Holt gives 245ha block to Project Crimson". New Zealand Herald. 14 March 2001. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  31. ^ "Membership Roster - Council on Foreign Relations". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Rick Dearborn
White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy


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