Tag Archives: USINPAC

USINPAC congratulates Indian American Dr. Lalita Shevde-Samant on her election to NIH Study Section

Dr. Lalita Shevde-Samant, associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology and a scientist at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, was recently elected a member of the Chemo/Dietary Prevention Study Section for the Center for Scientific Review of the National Institutes of Health.

Shevde-Samant was selected on the basis of her demonstrated competence and achievement in her scientific discipline.

In her new role, the Indian American researcher will review grant applications submitted to the NCI, make recommendations and survey the status of research in applicants’ fields of science.

Shevde-Samant’s research at UAB focuses on defining mechanisms that regulate tumor progression and metastasis, applying this knowledge to complement and extend current clinical applications and provide additional therapeutic strategies.

Shevde-Samant graduated from the Cancer Research Institute, University of Mumbai and completed her postdoctoral training at the Hershey Medical Center, Penn State University.

Source: IndiaWest

USINPAC supports Indian American Swati Dandekar in her race for U.S. Congress

Nagpur-born Swati Dandekar, now a naturalized citizen of the USA, has announced that she will be campaigning to become a candidate of the Democratic Party for the Congressional district of Iowa.

Dandekar believes the foundation for success is an excellent education. She was brought up in Nagpur and went to the JN Tata Parsi School. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Nagpur University and a postgraduate diploma in dietetics from Bombay University. She reached Iowa in 1973 and has been there since.

After holding several public service posts, Dandekar became a legislator from Marion area in the Iowa House of Representatives from 2003 to 2009 and served in the Iowa Senate from 2009 to 2011. From 2011 until recently she served as a member of the Iowa Utilities Board. Over the years, Dandekar has become known for raising a voice for job creation and advocating advanced technology.

Dandekar is the fifth to announce a run for the Democrat 2014 nomination to run for the seat. She has made agriculture, advanced manufacturing, technology and renewable energy the main planks for her campaign.

I am running for Congress because I truly understand the promise that the U.S. offers and I want to make sure that every Iowan is given the same opportunity that I had. I am a living testament that the American dream is alive,” she said.

Having chaired the Senate Commerce Committee, and discharging duties as vice chair of the Economic Development Budget subcommittee, Dandekar was elected president of National Foundation of Women Legislators in 2011. The same year she was appointed as Democratic member of the Iowa Utilities Board.

Until her resignation from the board she was a member of National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and served on the NARUC Committee on Tele-communications and the Committee on International Relations.

Swati and her husband, Arvind, reside in Marion, Iowa. They have two sons, Ajai with wife Allison, and Govind, his wife Shaneeda, and daughter Ayaana.

In public service

  • Born in Nagpur in March 1951, Swati Dandekar attended JN Tata Parsi School.
  • Graduated from Nagpur University.
  • Holds PG diploma in dietetics from Bombay University.
  • Emigrated to Iowa, USA in 1973.
  • Represented Marion area in Iowa House of Representatives from 2003 to 2009.
  • Iowa Senate member from 2009 to 2011, chaired Commerce Committee and vice chair or Economic Devpt Budget Committee.
  • Elected president of National Foundation of Women Legislators in 2011.
  • From 2011 until recently, was member of Iowa Utilities Board.


Source: The Times of India

USINPAC raises a toast for Latha Ramchandran, Jagdip, Ash Shah, Gaurav Khandelwal and Dhiren Sethia on being recognized by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) for their contributions towards enhancing and empowering business and education between India and the US


Five Indian Americans have been recognised by an industry body here for their contributions towards enhancing and empowering business and education between India and the US.

The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) annual awards were presented last week at its 14th edition under the theme ‘Empowering Energy & Education – Onwards & Upwards‘.

The ceremony, attended by around 650 guests, included Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressmen Al Green and Pete Olson, Harris county sheriff Adrian Garcia, Mayor of Houston Anise Parker among others.

The ‘Educator of the Year‘ award was presented to Latha Ramchandran, dean and professor of finance at C T Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston.

Latha is an expert in international and corporate finance, energy education, corporate governance and leadership.

IACCGH founding member Jagdip Ahluwalia, who currently serves as its executive director, received a special award for his “outstanding contributions to the chamber” since its inception in 1999.

Jagdip has been a force behind promoting Indian business success in the U.S. while providing business partners with access to opportunities in India.

Ash Shah, who owns a major plastic films and packaging product distribution company, with units in various countries, was awarded ‘International Business Person of the Year’.

Business Person of the Year‘ award was presented to Dhiren Sethia, managing partner and co-founder of a management and technology consulting firm focused on Fortune 500 companies.

Gaurav Khandelwal, founder and chief executive officer of ‘Chai1′, which is among 25 fastest growing companies in Houston every year since inception, was awarded ‘Young Business Entrepreneur of the Year’.

The chief guest P Harish, Consul General of India, Houston and the keynote speaker Robert E Beauchamp, chairman and CEO of BMC Software, highlighted the IACCGH contribution in connecting India and America.

Beauchamp described how the chamber convinced him that India was the best location for their expansion for talent, adding that the BMC India office has now become a hub for innovation.

Highlighting the education and energy theme, IACCGH president Pankaj Dhume said Indo-US cooperation in both these sectors would boost job growth and major alliances between universities in Houston and India.

Source: The Economic Times

USINPAC congratulates Indian American Alka Sagar who has been named federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Alka Sagar, most recently assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District in Los Angeles, Calif., has been named federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by a panel of district judges.

According to the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California, she becomes the first South Asian woman to serve as a federal judge in the Central District and the first South Asian woman federal judge west of the Mississippi.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to continue to pursue my career in public service and to serve the people in the Central District of California as a magistrate judge,” Sagar told India-West in an e-mail. “I hope to see many future appointments of South Asian jurists on the bench both on the state and federal level.”

(Judge Cathy Bissoon, who is of Hispanic and Indian American descent, was appointed by a board of judges in Pennsylvania as a magistrate judge and sworn in Aug. 1, 2008, thus becoming the first woman of South Asian descent to sit on a federal bench in the U.S. In 2010, she was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania by President Barack Obama and confirmed to the post by the U.S. Senate Oct. 17, 2011. See sidebar.)

This appointment is exciting,” said Puneet V. Kakkar, president of SABA-SC. Sagar “has been a leader and a mentor for South Asian attorneys for more than two decades. She has embraced public service her entire life, and the bench and people of the Central District will be enriched with her appointment.”

Sagar has been an assistant U.S. attorney for 26 years and served as deputy chief of the major frauds and major crimes sections.

I have been fortunate to have worked on a wide variety of cases as an assistant U.S. attorney — including a myriad of complex fraud prosecutions, securities fraud, criminal tax, as well as money laundering, computer counterfeiting and sound piracy,” she told India-West. “I also prosecuted the largest cash robbery in U.S. history — the $18.9 million robbery of Dunbar armored.”

Sagar has received the Attorney General’s “Director’s Award for Superior Performance” and was named by the Los Angeles Business Journal one of the top 50 trial lawyers in Los Angeles.

She is active with Project Lead, a program where prosecutors teach inner city school children about the legal system. Sagar has also served on the board of directors of SABA-SC, most recently as SABA-SC’s judicial appointments co-chair.

I also served as a judge pro tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court and volunteered with public counsel to assist families with adoptions. I found my community service to be very rewarding and it has confirmed my dedication to a career in public service,” she told India-West.

Sagar joins Magistrate Judge Jay C. Gandhi, former SABA-SC president, on the bench.

Gandhi, in a SABA-SC press release, said Sagar “as a decorated” federal prosecutor “exemplifies the best of America and the court is privileged to have her ample talents at hand. She has not only one of the sharpest legal minds, but the rare gift of impeccable judgment. She has also exhibited a steadfast commitment to public service.”

Born in Uganda, Sagar said her parents were also born in Uganda and Kenya. “My grandparents were from North India. They came to East Africa in the early 1900s to help build the railroad for the British colonies.

“My family moved to Bangalore for a short time when I was four years old and thereafter immigrated to Canada when I was five. I grew up in Montreal and Vancouver, graduating from high school in Montreal. My family then moved to Los Angeles where I attended UCLA, graduating with a degree in anthropology and continuing on to UCLA law school.”

Source: IndiaWest

USINPAC raises a toast to nine year old Arnav Srinivasan for becoming a Taekwondo World Champion

USINPAC raises a toast to nine year old Arnav Srinivasan, son of Indian American parents Jay Srinivasan and Shonali Lothe for becoming a taekwondo world champion at the 2013 American Taekwondo Association World Championship. To read more, click http://tinyurl.com/ng2atae

Source: IndiaWest