Mary Pawlenty

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The Honorable
Mary Pawlenty
Mary Pawlenty.jpg
First Lady of the State of Minnesota
In office
January 2003 – January 2011
Preceded by Terry Ventura
District Judge
Minnesota First Judicial District
In office
Personal details
Born Mary Elizabeth Anderson
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Tim Pawlenty
Alma mater Bethel University
University of Minnesota Law School
Occupation Attorney
Religion Evangelical Christian[1]

Mary Elizabeth Anderson Pawlenty (born 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.

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.

Law 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 Dakota County District Court in Hastings, Minnesota by Governor Arne Carlson. She and her husband began raising their two daughters, Anna and Mara. 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.[2] In January 2007, 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, less than a month later, she quit her position with National Arbitration Forum.[4] Pawlenty then took a position with the Gilbert Mediation Center.[5] In January 2009, Pawlenty left the Gilbert Mediation Center to start a new position as director of medical diplomacy at Children's HeartLink,[6] an international medical nonprofit.[7]


  1. ^ Andy Birkey (June 10, 2008). "VP or not VP: A Pawlenty pick leads McCain to 30 million evangelicals". Minnesota Independent. 
  2. ^ Art Hughes (November 6, 2002). "Pawlenty sets stage for a Capitol revolution". Minnesota Public Radio. 
  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. Retrieved 2010-11-23. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived May 18, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^'s 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