"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," Obama said.
A member of the Iowa House of Representatives from 2003 to 2009, Dandekar was also member of the Iowa Senate from 2009 to 2011.
Thereafter, she served on the Iowa Utilities Board from 2011 to 2013. From 2000 to 2003, she was a member of the Vision Iowa Board of Directors.
Dandekar, who with her husband Arvind migrated to the U.S. in 1973, 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. She received a Bachelor of Science from Nagpur University and a Post-Graduate Diploma from Bombay University. Dandekar ran for the U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa's first Congressional District, but lost in the primaries.