I think I like the idea, of bringing flavours and "human traits" into game. But I'd prefer to extent the suggestion and let us to either customize, or have already customized not just races, but also governors, ministers, and our leaders themselves. It seems at least some Stardock team members are aware of Tropico series, that, probably, would be closest similarty I could come up with (Fallout 1-2/NV are second best).
Race leader could have openly positive traits, like being economical genius, allowing race to have eonomy boost.
Or he could have "mixed" trait, like pathological honesty - that could create problems with doplomacy, but his people could like him, knowing he won't pour BS on them.
We could have some small traits added either for flavour, or deeper background description. He could be former soldier, who carefully kept that family-like relations within units where he served, thus earning himself a notable reputation (if not utmost love, respect and loyalty) among fighting force. Such trait could give permanent soldiering boost, morale boost for civilians, and make planets less susceptible to rebellions against player, and more susceptible to rebellions against invader. Or leader could be teetotaler (and/or supporter of healthy lifestyle), who would not impose prohibition, or increased taxes on alcohol or tobacco, but will offer simple "follow my lead" stance. According to support he have, on the long run that could lead to increase of nation's health, thus improving morale, soldiering, and reducing costs on medicine. Should he support his lifestyle through building sport facilities everywhere, bonuses could be even bigger.