Michele Flournoy, the highest-ranked female member of the Pentagon, will be stepping down next February. If you aren't familiar with her, you probably should be: she advises Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and, among many other things, has helped guide strategy for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan during her three years as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. Speaking with the Associated Press, she remarked on the inevitable stresses of the job when asked why she was stepping down: "You can make the sacrifice for a period, but at some point the cost becomes too high and you need to rebalance."

In a recent Washington Post profile of Flournoy, colleagues described her glowingly (the paper couldn't "find anyone who’ll say anything negative" about her) and noted that she had what looks like a decent work/life balance: “Unlike most people in Washington, she’s not always checking her BlackBerry or looking for the most important person in the room,” said Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs and "a longtime friend" to the newspaper.