NAME: Lisa Jackson 

AGE: 46

NEW APPOINTMENT: Head of the Environmental Protection Agency (expected)

HOW SHE KNOWS OBAMA: Serving on the transition's agency review team for energy and natural resources.

OTHER TOP POSITIONS: Chief of staff to New Jersey Governor John Corzine (as of early December); commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (2006-2008); officer in the DEP (2002-2006); prior to that, served sixteen years at the EPA in Washington and New York.

KNOWN FOR: Working to clean up contaminated sites and pass mandatory greenhouse gas reductions in New Jersey, a state with a weak environmental record, during her time at both the DEP and EPA.

CONTROVERSIES: The group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility recently urged the transition team not to select Jackson. "Under her watch, New Jersey's environment only got dirtier, incredible as that may seem," said PEER's director. The group says she "convened an industry-dominated task force to rewrite DEP policies and relaxed pollution enforcement through policies [that are] business-friendly." In response, the AP reports that "DEP officials said Jackson inherited many of the problems, and that in the case of global warming the state was getting back on track." See here for more on The Vine.

TRIVIA: Would be the first African American to hold the EPA post; trained as a chemical engineer.

--Seyward Darby