After ambassadorship, Swati Dandekar forms new consulting firm

Swati Dandekar – who served in the Iowa state legislature for nine years and then served as the U.S. ambassador to the Asian Development Bank in Manila – has formed a new consulting group, Thirty-Ninth Street Strategies.

Dandekar is one of the first Indian American women to be elected to a statewide office. She was an Obama appointee to the Asian Development Bank and served in that role for 10 months until President Donald Trump took office and recalled all ambassadors appointed by the previous administration.

Swati Dandekar of Marion, Iowa, as United States Executive Director, Asian Development Bank, with the Rank of Ambassador.  President Obama nominated Dandekar for the position.  Sen. Chuck Grassley made the following comment on the confirmation. “Swati Dandekar has served Iowa in many ways over a long period of time.  She’s shown her talent for building relationships that lead to productive dialogue and initiatives.  Her enthusiasm for public service and willingness to take on new challenges and responsibilities are what the public deserves.  The President and the Senate made a good decision in choosing Swati Dandekar to represent the United States in this capacity.”

At the ADB, Dandekar worked with 60 countries in Asia and the Pacific Rim on energy, telecom, water and transportation issues, as well as developing infrastructure projects.

Swati A. Dandekar is a former Iowa state legislator and member of the Iowa Utilities Board.  Ms. Dandekar served on the Iowa Utilities Board from 2011 to 2013.  Prior to joining the Utilities Board, Ms. Dandekar served in the Iowa State Senate from 2009 to 2011 and in the Iowa State House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008.  From 2000 to 2003, she was a member of the Vision Iowa Board of Directors.  Ms. Dandekar also served on the Linn-Mar Community School District Board of Education from 1996 to 2002 and was a member of the Iowa Association of School Boards from 2000 to 2002.  Ms. Dandekar received a B.S. from Nagpur University and a Post-Graduate Diploma from Bombay University.

Dandekar formed Thirty-Ninth Street Strategies in July with veteran pollster Marc Silverman, who formerly served on the White House National Economic Council during the Clinton Administration. Silverman played a key role in helping to shape the administration’s policy process for energy, telecommunications, and environmental issues. Mark Pritchard, a member of Parliament in the United Kingdom, will serve as the group’s international advisor. Thirty-Ninth Street Strategies is working with U.S. companies aiming to do business in Asia.

“We’re hoping to get people focused on the Democratic message,” she said. The consultancy is already working with several Democratic congressional candidates, including Reps. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania and John Conyers of Michigan; and Danner Kline, who is running for a House seat in Alabama’s sixth congressional district.

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