Swati Dandekar, an Indian American and former Iowa state Senator, has been nominated by President Obama to be the United States Director of the Asian Development Bank, with the rank of Ambassador, a White House announcement on November 19th stated. She replaces Robert M. Orr, who is resigning from the post. Her nomination will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. “I am confident that these experienced and hardworking individuals will help us tackle the important challenges facing America and I am grateful for their service. I look forward to working with them,” Barack Obama said.
Dandekar, 64, a Democrat made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Congress in 2014. Dandekar served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 2003-2009 and in the Iowa state Senate from 2009-2011. Swati Dandekar has been mulling a bid for Congress in 2016 in Iowa’s District 1, which includes Cedar Rapids and Dubuque. It would be Dandekar’s second try for the seat. She has been talking with the Democratic leadership and was expected to make her decision by this summer, she said. What she has been hearing so far is all positive, she added.
She was on the Iowa Utilities Board in 2011, a position she quit in 2013 to run for Congress. She served in the Iowa State House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008, moving on to the Iowa State Senate in 2009, resigning in 2011 to join the Utilities Board.
“I am talking to people about my agenda, which includes education — which has been my passion — creating manufacturing jobs and immigration.” She said she supported the immigration bill passed by the U.S. Senate last summer and is preparing position papers on jobs creation, education and other issues of concern to Iowans. She has a B.S. in Biology/Chemistry from Nagpur University in 1971. She went on to earn her post-graduate diploma in dietetics from Bombay University in 1972.
The ADB, founded in 1966, targets investments in the Asia and Pacific region. The U.S. holds the second largest share in the bank after Japan, and is one of twelve members of the Board of Directors. Headquartered in Manila, Philippines, the ADB has 67 member countries, and offices in Tokyo, Frankfurt and Washington, D.C. The Bank controls approximately $153 billion in subscribed capital.