New Zealand businessman Chris Liddell has been promoted to a top role in US President Donald Trump's White House.

The former Carter Holt Harvey chief executive has been named White House deputy chief of staff.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Liddell had extensive experience managing large organisations and had already overseen a number of interagency processes in the White House.

"In his new role, Chris will manage the policy process as we continue to enact the president's agenda."

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Liddell, 59-year-old, has worked on projects like information technology modernisation and electronic health records, which have required intensive coordination with government agencies, White House officials have said.

Liddell joined the administration in January last year and serves as the White House's director of strategic initiatives.

He was born in Matamata and attended Mt Albert Grammar School in Auckland before obtaining a Bachelor of Engineering degree with honours from the University of Auckland.

He started his career as an investment banker in New Zealand and from 1999 to 2002 was chief executive of then majority US-owned Carter Holt Harvey, a large New Zealand forestry and paper-making company, having earlier been the chief financial officer.

He went on to have a stellar business career in the US, starting as CFO of Carter Holt's parent International Paper then going on to senior roles at Microsoft and General Motors.

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

In 2016 he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and philanthropy.

He is also a former director of the New Zealand Rugby Union and the New Zealand Sports Foundation.

- AAP