Swati Dandekar returns to the U.S., forms consulting group

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Swati Dandekar is back both geographically and professionally, after serving 10 months as ambassador to the Asian Development Bank in Manila, Philippines, to form a new consulting group known as Thirty-Ninth Street Strategies.

Dandekar is partnering and taking the help of a former Clinton administration official, Marc Silverman, who worked for the National Economic Council in the White House on energy, telecommunications and environmental issues.

She was a former member of the Linn-Mar school board and has served on the Iowa legislature for nine years while Silverman is a member of the United Kingdom Parliament and an international adviser.

Dandekar was an ambassador to the Asian Development Bank where she dealt with 60 countries in Asia and the Pacific Rim on energy, telecom, water and transportation issues as well as helped the bank develop infrastructure projects in many of those countries.

Dandekar, 66, who was appointed by the Obama administration, returned to Marion in February after the new presidential administration recalled ambassadors.

“I’m proud of what I did in 10 months,” Dandekar told The Gazzete as one of her priorities was to award contracts, basing them on life-cycle costs rather than simply on the lowest bid and believes she helped build bridges between the United States and other countries.

Dandekar told The Gazzete that when she left Manila, the bank’s president Takehiko Nakao, paid her a compliment saying, “I now know what ‘Iowa nice’ is.”

In her new role, Dandekar will be taking the experience she had as an ambassador and as a former member of the Iowa Utilities Board when dealing with energy and telecommunications issues and will do market research, write policy papers and work on international licensing agreements.

Thirty-Ninth Street Strategies is a Washington-based market research and intelligence firm serving businesses, political campaigns, public interest groups and nonprofits.

Dandekar used Silverman as a pollster in her past campaigns and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is one of the firm’s clients.

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