He attended Yale University and then became an architect in San Francisco.
Swett became active in the Democratic Party and eventually began a political career. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1991 remaining in Congress until 1995. In the run up to Swett"s 1990 campaign, former Governor of New Hampshire Meldrim Thomson, Junior. complained unsuccessfully that listing him on the ballot as "Dick Swett" would be unlawfully misleading, since he was listed as "Lantos-Swett" in the telephone book, voter registration, deed to real property, and business.
Mitt Romney donated $250 to his 1992 campaign.
In 1994, Swett voted for a bill to ban assault weapons that narrowly passed by two votes in the United States House of Representatives. His stand resulted in numerous threats against his life.
In 1996, Swett ran as the Democratic Party candidate for a seat in the United States Senate from New Hampshire, against incumbent Republican Bob Smith, but was narrowly defeated. Smith had established himself as the most conservative Senator from the Northeast, and Bill Clinton"s coattails nearly caused his defeat.
In 1998, Bill Clinton appointed Swett to be United States Ambassador to Denmark.
He served in that position until 2001, and then moved back to New Hampshire. Swett and Larry Coben wrote the national energy policy for Senator Joseph Lieberman"s 2004 presidential campaign.
Board advisors Hans Christian Andersen Foundation, Denmark, since 2001, Architects for Humanity, New York City, since 2001, Abildsø Foundation, Oslo, since 2002, Project for Public Spaces, New York City, since 2003. Fellow American Institute of Architects, Design Futures Council (senior ). Member National History Preseervation Society, Indiana Power Producers New Hampshire Association, Yale Club New Hampshire, Sierra Club, Winnipesaukee Yacht Club.
Married Yvonne Katrina Lantos, August 29, 1980. Children: Chelsea, Sebastian, Keaton, Chanteclaire, Kismet, Atticus, Sunday.