- "I'm not sorry."
- ―Abbot's last words[src]
Ward Abbott was a CIA section chief, in The Bourne Identity he acts as Alexander Conklin's superior and as such is one of the few with classified knowledge of Operation Treadstone. In The Bourne Supremacy, he conspires with Yuri Gretkov in the theft of CIA seed money and is the true main antagonist of the film.
Abbott is portrayed by Brian Cox in both films.
The Bourne Identity
Following the news of a failed assassination attempt on the African dictator Nykwanna Wombosi, Abbott confronts Conklin about Treadstone and his involvement for the first time. In order to maintain plausible deniability, Abbot had refrained from speaking on the subject since there had never been any mistakes. Conklin assures his superior that it will be taken care of and any evidence connecting them to the assassination attempt will be eliminated, along with its operative Jason Bourne. As Conklin fails again and again to apprehend Bourne, Abbott loses faith in his abilities and acts on his own. He has Treadstone operative Manheim kill Conklin and shuts down the operation. Meeting before the Senate Oversight Committee, he tells them that Operation Treadstone was an advanced game program, a theoretical-exercise that had been terminated due to its high cost. He proceeds to introduce Operation Blackbriar, which plays a significant part in The Bourne Ultimatum.
The Bourne Supremacy
Abbott is forced to help fellow CIA Deputy Director Pamela Landy track down Bourne once again, this time to learn of the CIA operative who stole $20 million. The name of the operative was in the Neski Files, which Landy and her team were attempting to buy off of a source before they were assassinated by Kirill, who would plant evidence to incriminate Bourne. Landy suspects Conklin and Bourne had something to do with the stolen money. Unbeknownst to Landy and everyone else, Abbott is actually responsible and in league with Kirill and Gretkov.
Abbott accompanies Landy to Berlin, after retrieving former Treadstone handler Nicky Parsons in Amsterdam. He is adamant about killing Bourne on sight, where Landy hopes to bring him in. Because of Parsons, Bourne learns that Abbott was the head of Treadstone rather than Conklin. Meanwhile, Danny Zorn shows Abbott evidence that Bourne was framed and as result is murdered by Abbott.
After visiting the hotel room where he assassinated the Neskis, Bourne recalls the details of the mission. He tracks Abbott down and records an incriminating conversation between the director and Gretkov before revealing himself. Caught, Abbott admits to issuing the assassination attempt in Goa that resulted in the death of Marie Kreutz as well as the plan to frame Bourne. Bourne spares Abbott's life and leaves, later mailing the confession and Neski Files to Landy. Not long after his departure Landy arrives, having learned of Zorn's mysterious death, she witnesses Abbott's suicide.
The Bourne Ultimatum
Abbott is mentioned by CIA Director Ezra Kramer of the last few events leading to his unexpected death
- It is mentioned in an interrogation room with Pamela Landy that Abbott has been married multiple times but sacrificed them in the name of his country.
- In the same interrogation scene, Abbott tells Landy he has "shoveled shit on four continents," suggesting he has been with the CIA for many years and worked across the world.