Leonardo DRS brings in new business development leader

The conglomerate's U.S. subsidiary is in the midst of a transaction to take it public.

Defense conglomerate Leonardo has hired a new business development chief for its U.S. subsidiary in Thomas Smitham, former State Department official and most recently acting U.S. ambassador to Italy.

Smitham will lead the Leonardo DRS organization responsible for accelerating growth on the U.S. and be responsible for dialogue with current and potential future customers, the Italy-headquartered parent company said Friday.

Leonardo DRS is in the process of acquiring radar maker RADA Electronic Industries in a transaction that will take the buyer to the public markets.

His diplomatic service career includes roles such as acting U.S. ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago and a political minister counselor position at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

He is also a former chief of staff to the State Department’s undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment.