Swati Dandekar of Marion, Iowa was first elected to the Iowa House of Representatives in 2002. She served the Marion, Iowa area in that capacity until she was elected to represent them in the Iowa Senate in 2009. She was the chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, vice chair of the Economic Development Budget subcommittee, and was elected President of the National Foundation of Women Legislators in 2011.

In 2011 Dandekar was appointed as the Democratic member of the Iowa Utilities Board. Until her resignation from the Board she was a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and served on the NARUC Committee on Telecommunications and the Committee on International Relations. Dandekar was also a member of the Mid-American Regulatory Conference and served on the Advisory Council of the Iowa Energy Center in Ames. In addition, she serves on the advisory board of the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research and is a member of the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advance Telecommunications Services and on the board of directors for the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel.

Dandekar holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Nagpur University and a post graduate diploma in dietetics from Bombay University in India. She served on the Linn-Mar School Board, the Iowa Association of School Boards, Vision Iowa Board, U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy, Iowa Math and Science Coalition, Greater Cedar Rapids Foundation, Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted and Talented, Iowa Innovation Council, and Iowa Public Health Commission.

Honors bestowed upon Dandekar include the 2000 J.C. Penney Education Golden Rule Award, India Abroad 2002 Person of the Year, 2003 Pillar of the Community Award from Waypoint, Asian Alliance of Iowa 2003 Person of the Year, 2004 Flemming Institute Fellow, Iowa’s 2006 Passport to Prosperity Award, and Asian Week’s 2008 Asia Pacific American Person of the Year.

Swati and her husband, Arvind, reside in Marion, Iowa. They have two sons, Ajai with wife, Allison, and sons Evan and William, as well as Govind, his wife Shaneeda, and daughter Ayaana.