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Top female stepping down

Michele Flournoy, the most senior female Pentagon official in history, told The Associated Press on Monday she is stepping down as the chief policy adviser to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. In an interview in her Pentagon office, Flournoy said she feels compelled to “rebalance” her personal life after three years in one of the most demanding national security jobs in Washington. “By nature it is an all-consuming job and it does take a toll on the family,” she said, adding that she considers her time as the undersecretary of defense for policy as “probably the highlight of my professional life.”