Dahlia Malkhi is a principal researcher and co-founder of VMware Research. Leading up to her current role at VMware, her research career intertwines a tenured professor position at the Hebrew University with senior researcher roles at AT&T Labs and Microsoft Research. Her distinguished scientific career features more than 150 publications. She was elected as an ACM fellow in 2011, and has won multiple awards and distinctions, and is a sought-after keynote speaker. Dahlia says her career track was not one she planned, nor did she rush to make it happen. Born and raised in Israel, she felt little pressure from her parents. At several junctures along the way, she paused, trying a variety of alternative paths. More than once, it took someone’s advice or intervention to push her to the next academic stage. Consequently, her career interweaves academia and industrial research labs, which she believes gives her strengths from both worlds. She focuses on “obsession, not ambition,” always valuing her passion for technical challenges over a ladder of titles in her prominent, if unplanned, career trajectory.