Mortenson Family Foundation Welcomes Maryan Abdinur as Its Community Relationship Officer

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Mortenson Family Foundation is pleased to announce that Maryan Abdinur has joined the Foundation as a Community Relationship Officer for its Sustaining Environmental Systems program. Maryan brings varied and deep knowledge and direct experience to join the Foundation in its goal of enabling all Minnesotans to have equitable and sustainable access to healthy land and water.

Maryan grew up in a farming and camel nomadic community in East Africa known to her and her people as Arlaadi (“our lands/the lands''), today known as central/southwest Somalia and eastern Kenya.

Maryan’s work is highly influenced by the knowledge and memories of the Arlaadi, its people, and the teachings of her grandparents, which instilled in her a passion for a just stewardship of the land and the belief that the wellbeing of the earth is essential to individual wellness and individual wellness is essential to the wellness of the whole.

Maryan is joining Mortenson Family Foundation from Hope Community Inc., where she led their Food, Land and Community program. As part of her role at Hope, Maryan was a member of the City of Minneapolis’s Green Zones Policy Recommendations Design Team and has served two terms on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) Environmental Justice Advisory Group. Prior to being at Hope, Maryan worked with the Land Stewardship Project and did her internship with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency where she worked with their Environmental Justice team on Community Engagement. 

Maryan currently serves on the boards of Philadelphia Community Farm in Osceola Wisconsin, a Somali women wellness collective in Minneapolis, and an energy research organization based in Kenya and Somalia. 

“I am so excited to join this phenomenal team and support Mortenson Family Foundation's goal to enable all Minnesotans to have equitable and sustainable access to healthy land and water,” Maryan said.                                                                                                                                              

“Maryan’s passion for land stewardship, commitment to environmental justice, and ability to facilitate conversations with an array of most impacted voices are valuable experiences for the Foundation and the communities we serve,” said Ambar Hanson, executive director.

To learn more about the Sustaining Environmental Systems grant program Maryan is leading, visit