* Born: Newport News, Va., May 17, 1937.
* Education: BA, Fisk University, 1959; JD, Rutgers University, 1966.
* Military service: None.
* Career: Assistant prosecutor, Essex County, N.J.; assistant attorney general, New Jersey; partner, Coopers & Lybrand, Washington, D.C.; general counsel, US Community Services Administration; staff member, Federal Energy Administration, Ford administration; chief, Economic Reg. Admin., US Department of Energy, Carter administration; vice-president and general counsel, O'Leary Assoc. Inc, 1981-1989; executive vice president, corporate affairs, Northern States Power Co., Minneapolis, 1989 to present.
* Personal: Husband deceased; one child.
* Assessment: O'Leary has experience in the utility business and at the energy department. She became the surprise choice after retiring Sen. Tim Wirth (D) of Colorado, the early front-runner, fell from favor with the Clinton team. Her selection increases to three the number of blacks in the Cabinet and adds another woman to the president-elect's team.