Martha Abbott is currently executive director for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), where she was previously the director of education. Prior to this, Abbott served in the Fairfax County Public Schools as a language teacher, foreign language coordinator and director of high school instruction. She has served on national committees to develop student standards, beginning teacher standards and performance assessments in foreign languages. She was chair of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in 1999 and president of the ACTFL in 2003. Abbott also co-chaired the national public awareness campaign 2005: The Year of Languages. She holds a B.A. in Spanish with a minor in Latin from the University of Mary Washington and a master's degree in Spanish linguistics from Georgetown University.