Former Haslam cabinet member reported in line to become ambassador to Japan

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name Tennessee businessman William Hagerty, according to media reports – initially from the Japanese news service Nikkei. Hagerty, previously the state’s commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, has recently been working on Trump’s transition team.

The Tennessee native joined Trump’s transition team in the summer and now serves as director of presidential appointments. Hagerty previously spent three years in Tokyo while with Boston Consulting Group. He went on to co-found private equity firm Hagerty Peterson after starting his career in the field at Trident Capital.

Hagerty’s business success makes him a natural fit for the Trump team. He has close links to the Republican Party establishment, having served in the George H.W. Bush White House as a policy adviser and as a member of Mitt Romney’s campaign for president in 2012.

Note: He also journeyed to Japan as ECD commissioner on a trade mission with Gov. Bill Haslam. He’s been mentioned as a prospective candidate for governor in 2018. Serving as ambassador to Japan would presumably make such a run unlikely.

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