When you find a place you like to work, you might as well stick with it. That's the mantra used daily by Hoffman, who has worked for the Energy Department in various capacities for 21 years, ever since earning her master's degree in ceramic science and engineering from Pennsylvania State University (where she also earned her undergraduate degree). "I like the mission," Hoffman says simply. Her first politically appointed position was this post, which she assumed in June 2010. Previously, she served as principal deputy assistant secretary beginning in November 2007. Hoffman, 46, is smack in the middle of some of the biggest debates in the country right now, including cybersecurity and the government's response to hurricanes and other extreme weather. Both of these issues require close coordination between Hoffman's office at the Energy Department and the electric-utility industry. "One of the major things that have evolved with this administration is a very close partnership with industry," Hoffman said, citing a meeting that had recently taken place at the department with electric utilities and President Obama to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. In her spare time, Hoffman, a native of McKeesport, Pa., is the commissioner of two soccer divisions in Vienna, Va., where she lives. She also describes herself as an "avid band parent," and watches her son play in the marching band.