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TNECD Commissioner Bill Hagerty

Commissioner Bill Hagerty

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Bill Hagerty serves in the cabinet of Governor Bill Haslam, as the commissioner of Department of Economic and Community Development for his home state of Tennessee.


Mr. Hagerty’s department is responsible for recruiting business and industry to the state as well as Tennessee’s overall economic growth. His department is focused on Governor Haslam’s mission to make Tennessee the number one state in the Southeast for high quality jobs.


Mr. Hagerty has led landmark recruitment efforts for Tennessee, including North American facilities for Hankook Tire and UBS Financial Services. His department has also landed major expansions for the state from global automotive suppliers like Magneti Marelli and Calsonic Kansei, as well as OEMs Volkswagen, Nissan and General Motors. During Mr. Hagerty’s tenure, the department has secured commitments from the private sector to create approximately 75,000 jobs in Tennessee.


In 2011, Governor Haslam asked Mr. Hagerty to take responsibility for the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission. Under his leadership, the Commission’s board was configured to more deeply engage the state’s significant music industry. Mr. Hagerty and his team worked closely with the industry and legislature to retool the state’s film industry incentives to simplify and broaden access. He has commission staff refocused on the convergence of music, entertainment and film to target outsized returns for the state. The ABC hit series “Nashville” is an example of this convergence, where the restructured incentives were leveraged with exceptional results. The television show now airs in more than 50 countries and touches millions of viewers every week.


During his service, Mr. Hagerty has also broadened the state’s portfolio of economic development tools, adding programs focused on foreign direct investment, exports and entrepreneurism.


He launched a new division, TNTrade, adding four overseas offices – for a total of seven - aimed directly at expanding international markets, which he sees as a major opportunity for Tennessee companies and entrepreneurs.


To better support entrepreneurial growth and innovation in the state, Mr. Hagerty’s team restructured and repositioned the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation and rebranded it as LaunchTN. Mr. Hagerty now serves as chairman of the board of LaunchTN, which has become the entity that oversees the state’s accelerator program, facilitates technology transfer and commercialization from the state’s R &D institutions (ranked 8th in the nation), and oversees the state’s early stage capital program, INCITE,  a co-investment fund established to attract more early-stage capital to the state.


During his service, Mr. Hagerty navigated substantial budget and staff cuts. The Haslam administration began in 2011 with the state facing unprecedented fiscal pressure in the wake of the global recession. Mr. Hagerty and his team addressed these cuts with a more corporate approach that relies on a decentralized management structure, stringent reporting metrics and high levels of accountability across the organization. Today, the department has 49 percent fewer positions than when Mr. Hagerty assumed his role as commissioner.


As a cabinet member, Mr. Hagerty works with and frequently testifies before the Tennessee General Assembly. He works on a regular basis with the Tennessee’s U.S. congressional delegation. He has provided congressional testimony on matters related to regulation, international trade and the economy.  In addition, Mr. Hagerty and his team work with the U.S. Treasury, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Trade Representative, the International Trade Administration, HUD, SBA and other federal agencies on an as needed basis.


Mr. Hagerty began his career with global consultancy, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where his career spanned five continents. He spent his last three years in Tokyo, Japan where he was senior expatriate responsible for the firm’s work with western clients across Asia.  


He left BCG to serve on the White House Domestic Policy Council where his portfolio included international trade, commerce, treasury and telecom. Mr. Hagerty was selected a White House Fellow where the vice president of the United States was his principal.


Following his service on the White House staff, Mr. Hagerty joined Trident Capital and launched his career in private equity. One of his first deals with Trident was lifting out the mapping division of former BCG client, RR Donnelley, to form what became MapQuest, which he co-invested with Trident. Three years later, MapQuest  went public (Nasdaq: MQST) and then was acquired through a public tender by AOL Time Warner (NYSE: AOL). Mr. Hagerty eventually helped form and lead private equity and advisory firm, Hagerty Peterson and Company, LLC. He has served on the Board of CyMed, Inc. as a founder and Co-Chairman of the nation’s third largest medical records company, which was later merged with NYSE-traded PLDT (NYSE:PHI); NEW Customer Services Company, as vice-chairman of the nation’s largest electronics warranty administrator (merged into NEW Asurion); as well as home entertainment retailer, Sound Advice (Nasdaq: SUND). Through early 2008, Mr. Hagerty served as CEO of ALAM, Ltd, the Asian Lehman Asset Management joint venture private equity investment platform majority owned by Lehman Brothers, which he helped establish with offices in Hong Kong and Beijing, China.   


Mr. Hagerty has served in a variety of complex governance situations both during and subsequent to major corporate events. Following its restructuring, he served as COO and CFO of Ultra Stores, the nation’s fifth largest jewelry retailer. He also served on the company’s Board of Directors and its audit committee. Mr. Hagerty served as CEO of Powerway, a technology firm, where he helped open and oversee the China, Europe and Mexico operations of the global firm prior to its merger with an overseas partner. Mr. Hagerty also served as a director for Birch Telecom, one of the nation’s largest competitive telecom exchange carriers, following its change of control.  Concurrent with the largest out-of-court restructuring in Wall Street history, he was recruited to serve on the board of directors and as chair of the Compensation Committee of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a large global publisher, as it transitioned from print to digital media.


Mr. Hagerty presently serves on the board and chairs the Governance Committee of R.J. O’Brien & Associates LLC, the nation’s largest independent futures and commodities merchant.  RJO recently absorbed 70% of the assets of MF Global at the request of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.


As a community volunteer and philanthropist, Mr. Hagerty served through mid-2007 as the chairman of the Executive Board of the National Capital Council of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) with more than 80,000 youth and adult volunteers, where he led a $50 million capital campaign. He is now an active member of the Middle Tennessee BSA’s board executive committee. He also served for 11 years as member and chair of the Regional Selection Panel for the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships (administrations of Clinton, Bush and Obama). Mr. Hagerty served as vice chairman of the Board of Columbia Hospital for Women, a nationally recognized not-for-profit women’s hospital in the District of Columbia. Mr. Hagerty has also been engaged locally serving on the Board of Trustees of Cheekwood where he chaired the Botanical Gardens Committee. 


In 2012, Mr. Hagerty took a leave of absence and moved to Washington, DC to serve full-time on the 2012 U.S. Presidential Transition Team.  In 2010, President Obama signed the Presidential Transition Act.  This legislation provided for the establishment and federal funding of a presidential transition effort housed within the General Services Administration to ensure an orderly transfer of Executive power. With more than 4,000 positions to fill during a transition, this is the largest scale leadership transition in the world. He served on the first such team, where he led the 124 person unit responsible for screening, vetting and ultimately navigating the Senate advice and consent process for prospective members of the Cabinet, Sub-Cabinet, Senior White House staff and key Ambassadorships. Having planned and led the first such effort under the new legislation, Mr. Hagerty has continued to participate on a bi-partisan advisory basis to help ensure smooth and effective presidential leadership transitions in the future.


A native of Gallatin, Tennessee, Mr. Hagerty attended Vanderbilt University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Economics. He went on to Vanderbilt Law School as a Wilson Scholar and was elected to the Law Review where he served as associate editor. Mr. Hagerty is a member of the New York State Bar Association. He has been published in newspapers, scholarly and trade journals and interviewed on radio and television programs (CNN on multiple occasions, as well as national publications including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and the Boston Globe). He and his wife Chrissy have four children and attend St. George’s Episcopal Church.