Chris Liddell – yes, he worked for Trump, and he risked his job by recognising the need for a smooth transition

Chris Liddell has  dropped  his  candidacy to become  director-general of  the  Paris-based  OECD. Without  support  from the  Ardern  government  and    vilified  in the  media as  somehow being  involved in the  encouragement  by  Donald Trump of the  Washington riots, he  plainly saw he had  little  chance of  crowning  his  stellar  career  in an international post.

Liddell scored highly in the pre-selection rounds and was impressive in his interviews, according to diplomats in Paris.  He ended in the second tier behind the top three – from Australia, Sweden and Switzerland.  However, as support was not forthcoming from the new Biden administration, he felt obliged to withdraw.

Yet  those  who   have followed  his career  to  the  top rungs of international  business  and then  into the  White House  believe  NZ  is the  loser   for not winning  a  key  position in an international forum.

As for  condemning him for  his  role  in the  White  House, his critics   display their  ignorance.  Liddell is one member of the Trump White House credited with gaining credence and respectability around Washington DC in its final days.  He kept the wheels of government turning while Trump descended into a world of denial fuelled by right wing media. Continue reading “Chris Liddell – yes, he worked for Trump, and he risked his job by recognising the need for a smooth transition”

Thanks to his Trump connections, Kiwi will need a Liddell help from USA’s friends to land top OECD job

National’s leader, Judith Collins, reckons the government should be supporting Kiwi Chris Liddell in his bid to become the next Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Liddell, who has dual US and NZ citizenship, is serving  in the White House as US President Donald Trump’s deputy chief of staff and was nominated by Trump in September to be the next boss of the OECD.

The NZ government has yet to decide if it will support him, prompting Collins to say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern should “front up” if she has a problem with his work for Trump.

“I would have thought that it is always going to be in New Zealand’s best interest to have a highly qualified, very experienced person like Chris Liddell heading our OECD. It’s far more beneficial to New Zealand than playing politics on it,” Collins told RNZ on Tuesday.

But it’s a complicated picture.  Liddell has lived for years in the US and, given Trump’s antipathy to Europe and international organisations, his senior position on Trump’s team may well knock him out of the running.

Trump’s defeat in the presidential elections – yes, we too say Joe Biden has won the presidential election – won’t help either. Continue reading “Thanks to his Trump connections, Kiwi will need a Liddell help from USA’s friends to land top OECD job”

Chris Liddell or an Aussie? Nominations for OECD chief could present Peters with a dilemma

Here’s another multi-passport challenge for Foreign Minister Winston Peters. The US is proposing former NZ businessman Chris Liddell as the next director-general of the Paris-based OECD, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The current DG, Angela Guria, has been in the job since 2006. There’s word he wants yet another term. He is a Mexican diplomat and former politician and his term ends this year.

Liddell is head of policy coordination at the White House. He has held high rank in Microsoft and General Motors and joined President Donald Trump at the beginning of his presidency.

What worries Wellington is that he retains joint US and NZ citizenship. Continue reading “Chris Liddell or an Aussie? Nominations for OECD chief could present Peters with a dilemma”