Mary Pawlenty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mary Pawlenty
First Lady of Minnesota
In role
January 6, 2003 – January 3, 2011
GovernorTim Pawlenty
Preceded byTheresa Ventura
Succeeded byGwen Walz (2019)
District Judge
Minnesota First Judicial District
In office
Personal details
Mary Elizabeth Anderson

(1961-01-13) January 13, 1961 (age 63)
Edina, Minnesota, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseTim Pawlenty
Children2[citation needed]
Alma materBethel University
University of Minnesota Law School

Mary Elizabeth Anderson Pawlenty (born January 13, 1961) is a former American state court judge who served on Minnesota's First Judicial District from 1994 to 2007. The wife of Governor Tim Pawlenty, she was First Lady of Minnesota from 2003 to 2011. She previously worked as a private-practice attorney and in 2009 became director at a medical nonprofit. She has been a mediator with Gilbert Mediation since 2007.

Early life and education[edit]

Mary Anderson was raised in Edina, Minnesota. In 1979, she graduated from Edina-East High School. In 1983, she graduated from Bethel University, earning a bachelor's degree in political science, summa cum laude. She received her Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School—where she met Tim Pawlenty—in 1986.

Legal career[edit]

Following graduation, Anderson practiced law in Houston, Texas for one year. She then returned to Minnesota to marry Tim Pawlenty. They settled in Eagan, Minnesota.

In 1994, Mary was appointed as a Judge of the District Court of Minnesota for Dakota County in Hastings, Minnesota by Governor Arne Carlson. She and her husband began raising their two daughters, Anna (born 1993) and Mara.

First Lady of Minnesota[edit]

The family remained at their Eagan home instead of taking the Governor's Residence after Tim Pawlenty was elected Governor of Minnesota in 2002 due to Mary's requirement to stay in her judicial district.[1]

As First Lady of Minnesota, Mary Pawlenty established a web-based program that facilitated the connection between community-based organizations willing to volunteer their time and services and the families of deployed servicemen and women - an initiative that is continued by the Minnesota National Guard as a nationally recognized model for web-based and community support for military families, known as Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.[2]

Leaving the judicial bench[edit]

In January 2007, after her husband was sworn into his second term as governor, Judge Pawlenty announced that she was leaving the bench on February 12, 2007.[3] She began work at the National Arbitration Forum shortly thereafter as its general counsel in charge of the National Arbitration Forum's legal affairs. However, she quit her position with National Arbitration Forum[4] and in September, 2007 Pawlenty became a mediator with the Gilbert Mediation Center, where she assists parties in settling disputes, both before and during civil litigation.[5] From January 2009 to January 2010, she was the director of medical diplomacy at Children's HeartLink,[6] an international medical nonprofit organisation.[7]


  1. ^ Art Hughes (November 6, 2002). "Pawlenty sets stage for a Capitol revolution". Minnesota Public Radio.
  2. ^ Amie Dahl (July 29, 2010). "First ladie's military family care initiative continues". 148th Fighter Wing. Archived from the original on August 20, 2016.
  3. ^ "National Arbitration Forum : Judge Mary Pawlenty Named General Counsel of the National Arbitration Forum". 2007-01-05. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  4. ^ "Hastings lawyer succeeds Judge Mary Pawlenty". 2007-04-24. Archived from the original on 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  5. ^ [1] Archived May 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^'s[permanent dead link] HeartLink
  7. ^ "Mary Pawlenty gets new post with Children's Heartlink". MinnPost. 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2010-11-23.

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
Terry Ventura
First Lady of Minnesota
Succeeded by