At the time of his appointment, Abbot was serving as "Executive Director of the Vice President's National Preparedness Review."
Abbot is a graduate of the Naval Academy and a Rhodes Scholar. He "served in the United States Navy from 1966 until his retirement as a four-star admiral in 2000. His final military assignment was serving as Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the US European Command during the recent conflict in Kosovo. He was a naval aviator, commanding a carrier-based squadron and serving as a test pilot for the F-18 and other aircraft. He commanded the aircraft carrier THEODORE ROOSEVELT from 1990 to 1992, a period that included the Persian Gulf War. He subsequently commanded the Roosevelt Carrier Battle Group."
Admiral Abbot also served as Deputy Director of Operations for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the end of the George Herbert Walker Bush Administration and the outset of the William Jefferson Clinton Administration, as well as Commander of the SIXTH Fleet.
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- Trustees, Institute for Defense Analysis, accessed September 2, 2009.