Nicole Nason isn't the first high-level public official to leave a media event early. But the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offered a novel excuse recently for ducking out of a meeting with Washington reporters: It was her day to take cupcakes to her 3-year-old daughter's preschool class.
Nason is half of a Washington power couple. She and her husband, David, are presidential appointees responsible for major federal programs. Hers is highway safety; he is assistant secretary for financial institutions at the U.S. Treasury Department.
Like millions of other women, Nason is a working mother, juggling responsibilities at the office and at home.
Name: Nicole Nason
Title: NHTSA administrator
Personal: Married; two daughters, 6 and 3; another child on the way
Lives: Arlington, Va.
Education: Bachelor's degree, American University, Washington; law degree, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland.
Big break: Fresh from law school, "getting my first job on Capitol Hill at the (House) Judiciary Committee."