THC Spotlights is shining a light on creative technologists who are helping to solve problems in their community and doing it with maximum impact.
Marian R. Croak is a prolific inventor in the voice and data communication fields, with over 200 patents to her name and 100 more still pending (get your coin sis!). Let’s dive into her track record!
Marian had a childhood fascination with plumbers and electricians. She was drawn to the idea that they were able to fix things that were broken. This laid the groundwork for developing a passion for innovation and desire to make things better.
Croak received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her doctorate in social psychology and quantitative analysis from the University of Southern California.
She served in various positions in voice and data communication for over three decades for AT&T Bell Laboratories starting in 1982. She had the foresight to see that the Internet would take over wire technology, and Croak felt compelled to develop the kinds of technology that would “transform the internet.”
She is best known for developing Voice Over Internet Protocols (VoIP), technology that converts your voice into a digital signal, allowing you to make a call directly from a computer or other digital device.
Croak furthered technology in areas such as voice and text messaging on cellular phones. She invented the technology that allows people to send text-based donations to charity. So when Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans in 2005, this new process helped raise $130K to support recovery efforts.
Before leaving AT&T in 2014, Croak held the title of Senior Vice President of Applications and Services Infrastructure and had supervised over 2,000 computer scientists and engineers and managed over 500 programs.
Marian Croak currently serves as Vice President of Engineering at Google and is responsible for expanding what the Internet is capable of doing around the world and increasing access to the Internet in the developing world.
A living legend, Croak has won a number of awards, including the 2013 and 2014 Edison Patent Awards. In 2013, Croak was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame. She is also a board member of the Holocaust and Human Rights Educational Center and serves on the Corporate Advisory Board for the University of Southern California.
Croak has three grown children and enjoys long distance running.
Written by Brittany Wallace
Edited by Naomi Arroyo