WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday announced his nomination of William Hagerty, who had been director of presidential appointments in Trump's transition team, as the next U.S. ambassador to Japan.
Hagerty is expected to assume his new post after confirmation by the U.S. Senate.
The 57-year-old served as Commissioner of Economic Development in his home state of Tennessee from 2011 to 2015, after cofounding Hagerty Peterson & Co., a private equity firm. He was solicited by Trump to join the transition team last summer, and has been in charge of overseeing more than 4,000 political appointments. Hagerty's career in business makes him well versed in economics, but he has no experience in foreign relations and his diplomatic skills are as yet unknown.
After graduating from Vanderbilt Law School, he started his professional career at the influential consulting firm Boston Consulting Group in 1984. While he was there, he spent three years in Tokyo. His familiarity with Japan extends to the time when he served in the state cabinet in Tennessee, where he is known to have made great efforts to bring in Japanese investment.
Hagerty worked as a member of the White House staff during the administration of George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, and in the 2012 presidential election, he joined the camp of Republican nominee Mitt Romney, making his connections with members of the Republican Party rather extensive.
In the presidential election last year, Hagerty initially gave his support to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, but later moved on to support Trump when Bush pulled out of the race.
Hagerty and his wife Chrissy have four children.
According to sources, Hagerty is already in touch with people close to the Japanese government in preparation for assuming his new post.