Martha Kongsgaard was born and raised in Napa, California, to a family of jurists, grape growers and cattle ranchers. She married Peter Goldman, an environmental public interest lawyer, and collaborated with him to found the Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation in 1988. The foundation gives grants to a variety of nonprofit environmental, social justice and arts organizations in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Martha is currently serving as Chair of the Leadership Council of the Puget Sound Partnership, the agency she has been dedicated to since its inception in 2007. She is also co-Chair of the Puget Sound Institute and a member of the UW College of the Environment. She has won numerous awards such as the Outstanding Family Foundation Award, Woman of the Year Award from Seattle University School of Law, and the Environmental Hero Award from the Washington Environmental Council. Martha is a graduate of UC Berkeley, and holds a law degree from the University of Puget Sound/Seattle University Law School.