Since Starfleet has such an expansive portfolio - military, diplomacy, exploration, science, etc., I imagine it's one of the more prominent Federation organizations, or at least the most visible, the career path that catches the public imagination and earns the most approval - in part because it has its fingers in so many pies, even though few of them (none, save military and exploration?) are dominated by it. Not that Starfleet would be all-encompassing, only that there's a certain respect that comes with being a former Starfleet officer or crewman. That is, a Starfleet physicist (say) isn't as dedicated or renowned within the field as a full-time physicist, so to speak, but earns a different and maybe comparable prestige through conducting research "out there", working within the structure of the fleet? The diplomatic corps, the scientific bodies, the civil engineering services, the merchant marine, the trade commissions, the homeworld defence forces... (I'm making a Harry Potter reference, gods help me) they're the Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw houses of the Federation, but Starfleet are the Gryffindor? If that makes sense? As for President Bral, your head cannon works fine - she was described as "a Trill woman", but her home state was never confirmed. Definitely agreed. If I recall, though, the fact that there are two Andorians and two Caitians in the room, just as there are two Deltans, two Vulcans (not counting Sarek), two Zaranites, etc., does seem to strongly imply that these are also Council representatives...only wearing uniforms.