The National Business League

Founded by Dr. Booker T. Washington – August 23, 1900


Marian Croak

Marian Croak

Remote work wouldn’t exist without her invention: Voice over Internet Protocol

One of the first Black women to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Marian Croak worked on advancing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies throughout her 30-year career at AT&T. By converting voice data into digital signals, her invention allows users to make calls over the internet instead of a phone line. The widespread use of VoIP technology today is vital for remote work and conferencing, as well as personal communications.

Born in 1955, in New York City, Croak was inspired to pursue a career in STEM after her father built her a home chemistry set. She attended Princeton University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1977, and earned her doctorate in social psychology and quantitative analysis at the University of Southern California.

Croak has been awarded more than 200 patents, almost half of which are in VoIP. Today, she serves as a Vice President of Engineering at Google, where she is responsible for expanding access to the internet in the developing world. In addition, she created a new center of expertise on Responsible AI focusing on ethical development of artificial intelligence (AI) within Google Research. She continues her goal of encouraging women and young girls in engineering and works on racial justice efforts at Google.