A recent Sierra Club quiz helping students pinpoint a green career includes a multiple-choice question: "Who is your eco-idol?" Mallory is on the list of answers with Sierra founder John Muir and anthropologist Jane Goodall. Primarily an environmental specialist since leaving Columbia University law school in 1983, Mallory came to the Office of the General Counsel in 2005. With its staff of more than 350 people in 10 locations, the office focuses on legal matters ranging from air quality and radiation to civil rights and ethics. Before arriving at EPA, Mallory, 56, was a partner at the Washington environmental law firm Beveridge & Diamond. She joined the agency as an associate general counsel in 2005, working first on pesticides, then water. She rose to become principal deputy, ostensibly serving as the general counsel's chief operating officer. With Scott Fulton's retirement in January, Mallory, stepped in as acting general counsel. "She tells it like it is, and always looks for ways to get to 'yes,' within the boundaries of the law," colleague Cynthia Giles says. "And she has a sense of humor." Mallory, an alumna of Yale who now calls Rockville, Md., home, received the American Bar Association's 2012 Government Attorney of the Year Award in the area of environment, energy, and resources.