New Zealander Chris Liddell, a key aide to US President Donald Trump, is smoothly planning a possible transition of power after the November election, according to Politico.
While Trump refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, his team is "carefully" developing plans for that very outcome.
Politico says the West Wing planning office is one of the most organised and functional parts of the Trump White House.
"As the President rails against mail-in ballots and 'Sleepy Joe Biden', assistant to the president Chris Liddell has spent weeks mapping out a possible handover of power."
Liddell, who grew up in Auckland, currently serves as assistant to the President and deputy chief of staff for policy co-ordination at the White House.
He previously served as assistant to the President and director of strategic initiatives.
Before joining the Trump Administration, Liddell served as vice chairman and chief financial officer at General Motors, chief financial officer and senior vice president of Microsoft Corporation, and chief financial officer of International Paper (IP).
In New Zealand, Liddell headed up Carter Holt Harvey.
Politico is an American political journalism company that covers politics and policy in the United States and internationally and reports Liddell has met the congressionally mandated deadlines to file two different transition reports.
He is working closely with a career government official who is serving as the federal transition coordinator — typically the type of worker Trump would label as part of the "Deep State".
Politico says a key question is whether Liddell can maintain this level of professionalism "if and when" Trump starts paying more attention to the prospect of leaving office.
Friends and allies say Liddell is aware of the delicacy of the situation and is purposefully seeking to work under the radar. Liddell declined to comment to Politico.
He joined the Trump White House in the early days — first working for Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner before becoming a deputy chief of staff in charge of policy coordination.
Liddell oversaw the coordination of contentious areas like immigration and trade.
"For now, Liddell is impressing business leaders, good government types and even former Obama aides with the ease of the White House's transition planning. A former Obama transition official said he was 'somewhat flabbergasted that they have maintained regular order for an administration that is not about regular order'," says Politico.
Trump has nominated Liddell to the position of Secretary General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Liddell is a dual citizen of the United States and New Zealand, holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Auckland and a Master of Philosophy from Oxford University.