Michelle Zatlyn is co-founder, president, and chief operating officer of the cybersecurity firm Cloudflare. She also serves on the company’s board of directors.

Zatlyn was born in 1979 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. She was raised in Prince Albert with her sisters by her father, a lawyer, and her mother, a teacher. She went to school at Prince Albert’s Ecole Holy Cross before attending Carlton Comprehensive High School, where she was the captain of the basketball team. As a teenager, Zatlyn worked in her father’s law office. She also spent a summer as a camp counselor at a special needs summer camp.

Zatlyn commented on her childhood, saying, “I was a very ambitious student and really lucky to have great teachers who supported me and parents and siblings who were cheerleaders along the way.”

She says being ambitious and pursuing opportunities is a part of her DNA. When asked about her first-ever business idea, Zatlyn says, “I created a board game in my junior achievement class, which was my first exposure to learning to create something that people wanted.”

In 2011, Zatlyn married an entrepreneur from Oakville, Ontario.They now have two children.

Once upon a time, Zatlyn dreamed of becoming a doctor. That is, until she discovered her passion for an open and secure Internet. So, she built CloudFlare, a web performance and security company that launched in 2009, along with two Harvard Business School friends, Matthew Prince and Lee Holloway. Today the company joins the unicorns with a billion-dollar valuation.

As head of user experience, Zatlyn is raking in the accolades: She was named one of 2015’s “Women Who Rule Silicon Valley” by Elle magazine; a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, which also called CloudFare a Technology Pioneer; and Wall Street Journal selected CloudFlare as the Most Innovative Internet Technology company today.