Academician of the Week
Member, Iowa Utilities Board
Swati Dandekar officially began serving on the Iowa Utilities board on September 19, 2011. Governor Terry Branstad appointed her to fill a vacated board member seat, which runs through April 30, 2015. Board Member Dandekar is a National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) member and serves on the NARUC Committee on Telecommunications. She is a voting member of the North American Numbering Council (NANC). Dandekar is also a member of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC). She serves as the Board representative to the Advisory Council of the Iowa Energy Center in Ames. Board Member Dandekar serves on the advisory board of the National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
Prior to joining the Board, Dandekar served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 2002 until 2008 and was elected to the Iowa Senate in 2008. 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 for 2011.
Dandekar has a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Nagpur University and a post graduate diploma in dietetics from Bombay University in India. She has served on the Linn-Mar School Board, Iowa Association of School Boards, the 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 his wife Allison and their sons Evan and William) and Govind (with his wife Shaneeda).