Former Australian finance minister Mathias Cormann has been elected the next Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Cormann was named the winner after beating nine other candidates in a battle that came down to the wire as he went head-to-head with former European Union trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom.
His bid for the influential job has been deeply controversial, with environmental groups and activists banding together to stop him because of his stance on climate change.
The Australian described it as a "stunning diplomatic coup". The win came after lobbying from Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
New Zealander Chris Liddell pulled out of the race to lead the OECD in January. Liddell served as deputy chief of staff for US President Donald Trump and his candidacy for the role came into stark focus after the insurrection at the US Capitol, which claimed the lives of five people.
"It was an honour to take part in the selection process, and I wish the remaining candidates, and the OECD itself, the very best in the future", Liddell told the Herald at the time.
Cormann, the former Australian Liberal Party member, who made his exit from Parliament late last year, will be the Asia-Pacific region's first head of the Paris-based economic organisation, which represents 37 member countries.
His achievement comes after a failed effort to elect the OECD's first female secretary-general. The Australian reports that Morrison called more than 50 world leaders in the past few moths in a push to ensure the nation's longest-serving finance minister was elected to the post.
He will replace Angel Gurria, of Mexico.
His five-year term begins on June 1.
Climate author Ketan Joshi called it "a permanent dark stain" on the organisation, "and a pretty damn clear statement about their hostility towards climate action and their total support for harmful fossil fuel industries."
Gerald Butts, vice chairman at geopolitical risk firm Eurasia Group, said the OECD could have chosen leaders who implemented climate policies and carbon prices, calling the move "deeply misguided and out of step with the times".
Doug Cameron, former Labor Senator for NSW and head of the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union, said: "Having served with him in the Senate for 11 years I cannot believe that his opposition to climate action, support for trickle-down economics and anti union ideology is rewarded by appointment to this role."
But Liberal MP Dave Sharma described it as an "excellent result", saying on Twitter Cormann would be "a great asset for the OECD at a critical time".