Environmental: Margo Oge, Director of Transportation and Air Quality, EPA
Margo Oge, 63, retired from government service in September having helped make peace with automakers on fuel economy.
Early in the Obama presidency, administration officials decided to aim for a fleetwide average of 54.5 mpg by the 2025 model year. It was an ambitious plan to reduce both pollution and fuel costs, but it wasn't going to succeed without buy-in from the industry.
That's where Oge (OH'-gay), a 32-year veteran of the EPA, came in. Her office got nearly all automakers on board with the standards, even ones that used to say tougher rules would force them to sell unappealing econoboxes. The regulators did that by offering credits to companies that roll out plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles. They also created a sliding scale for the "footprint" of a vehicle, meaning cars and trucks will compete against others of the same size.
Automakers praised the deal because it sets clear goals for more than a decade.