Eastern Iowa lawmaker to lead national women’s group

An eastern Iowa legislator will lead the National Foundation for Women Legislators in the next year.  Read the details below:


Des Moines – Iowa State Senator Swati Dandekar (D-District 18) will be installed as Chair of the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL) at the Statehouse on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 3:00pm.

Iowa’s elected leaders from both chambers of the legislature will join together for the formal swearing-in ceremony that will be led by NFWL President & CEO, Robin Read, and leadership from the Senate and House, as their colleague is installed as the Foundation’s newest leader.

Dandekar will also serve as President of the National Order of Women Legislators (NOWL), the membership arm of NFWL, which was founded in 1938.

“Senator Dandekar is an exemplary and impassioned leader,” Read stated.  “As she takes the helm of the Executive Committee she will be an incredible asset to the growth of the Foundation. I am confident that with her commitment to creating higher standards for public schools, re-energizing local economies through innovative community and state initiatives, investment in strengthening telecommunications, developing clean and renewable energy technologies, and access to healthcare, this will be one of the most exciting and productive years that NFWL has seen,” continued Read.

“Working with the NFWL has been one of the most valuable experiences of my entire legislative career,” Dandekar said. “I have been honored to call these women my friends and colleagues, and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to serve as their leader.”

“NFWL clearly demonstrates what can be accomplished when we put aside all the things that so often divide us and instead focus on networking our resources to really bring about immediate and positive results,” Dandekar stated. “This is a unique fellowship that broadens our horizons, not just as women, but as people who have a calling and a responsibility to be leaders in our communities.”

Dandekar was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2008, after serving in the Iowa House of Representatives since 2002.   She is the currently Chair of the Commerce Committee and Vice-Chair of the Economic Development Budget Subcommittee. She also serves on the Economic Growth, Transportation, Ways & Means and International Relations Committees.

Elected women from across the nation gathered at NFWL’s Annual Conference in Orlando, FL this past November to identify effective solutions to some of the nation’s most pressing issues.  Providing a non-partisan environment that encourages dialogue and information-sharing, legislators are able to build coalitions, share the concerns of their constituents, and highlight initiatives that have been successful within their own state at this annual event.

NFWL’s 2011 Annual Conference will take place this fall at a location to be named shortly.

About the National Foundation For Women Legislators, Inc. (NFWL)
Through annual educational and networking events, the National Foundation for Women Legislators supports elected women from all levels of governance.   As a non-profit, non-partisan organization, NFWL does not take ideological positions on public policy issues, but rather serves as a forum for women legislators to be empowered through information and experience.  

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.