An executive without an office? That, and her love for Mustangs, tells you a lot about the energy of Margaret Dawson ’86.

Margaret Dawson ’86 used to have an office at Red Hat, the open-source software giant where she’s vice president of product marketing. It was at the company’s product and technology headquarters in Westford, Mass. She also had an apartment in Westford, but she spent most of her time in the air, traveling to the company’s Raleigh, N.C.,  corporate headquarters, or to customers around the globe. The time spent in the clouds is fitting: She’s been in cloud computing almost from the start of the technology, and is considered one of the top women in the industry. Today, she’s still on the road and still meeting face-to-face with her colleagues—but she’s also at home, which her Twitter handle, @seattledawson, makes clear.

Energy runs hot in Dawson’s DNA, which seems a great match for Red Hat. With more than 13,000 employees, the 26-year-old company has landed in the top quarter of Forbes’ 100 Most Innovative Companies list for six of the last seven years. And in July, IBM purchased Red Hat for $34 billion—the largest software acquisition in history.

Here, in Dawson’s own words, are some insights into this gutsy woman, her philosophies, and a personal project she’s keen on.