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Published on Jan 30, 2012
Marissa Mayer is the Vice President of Local, Maps, and Location Services at Google. She oversees product management, engineering, design and strategy for the company's suite of local and geographical products, including Google Maps, Google Earth, Zagat, Street View, and local search, for desktop and mobile. She also curates the Google Doodle program, celebrating special events on Google's homepage around the world.
During her 12 years at Google, Marissa has held numerous positions, including engineer, designer, product manager, and executive, and has launched over 100 well-known features and products. Prior to her current role, she played an instrumental role in Google search, leading the product management efforts for more than 10 years, a period during which Google Search grew from a few hundred thousand to well over a billion searches per day. Marissa led the development of some of Google's most successful services including image, book and product search, toolbar, and iGoogle, and defined such pivotal products as Google News and Gmail. She is listed as an inventor on several patents in artificial intelligence and interface design.
Joining as the company's first female engineer in 1999, Marissa has played an important role in developing Google's culture. Her contributions have included overseeing the look-and-feel of the company's iconic homepage and founding the Associate Product Manager program, which has hired over 300 of the company's future leaders.
She graduated with honors from Stanford University with a BS in Symbolic Systems and a MS in Computer Science. For both degrees, she specialized in artificial intelligence. While at Stanford, she taught computer programming to more than 3000 students and received the Centennial Teaching and Forsythe Awards for her contributions to undergraduate education. In 2008, the Illinois Institute of Technology awarded her an honorary doctorate of engineering.
It has been quite a journey so far for Marissa, from her beginnings in Wisconsin, to the National Youth Science Camp, on to Stanford University and then landing at Google. Join NPR Correspondent Laura Sydell for a wide-ranging conversation about the educational choices Marissa made, her early role models and mentors, her work at Google, and her continuing role as a mentor -- to the next generation of computer scientists as well as women entrepreneurs like Tanzania's Susan Mashibe, TanJet Founder and Executive Director.