Marquette University Alumni Association Alumni National Awards Weekend
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tracey r. thomas, ENG '86

Tracey Thomas

A three-year track and field letter winner and number two all-time in the 60- and 100-meter dashes, Tracey is not one to stand still. He arrived at Marquette, as he puts it, “frankly unprepared for the rigors of engineering and science.” A first-generation collegian, Tracey credits the Educational Opportunity Program with helping him achieve success at Marquette—but he didn’t stop there. Tracey went on to earn a law degree at UW-Madison, became involved in sports law, was a sports agent and practiced patent law.

In 2000, Tracey joined American Express as its first intellectual property (IP) counsel, where he started a program to sell patent licensing and introduced intellectual property as an important part of the American Express business. In March 2006, Tracey was promoted to Chief IP Strategist and License Negotiator and is responsible for all U.S. and International IP licensing and revenue generation. His goal is to make American Express the dominant intellectual property holder regarding all technology related to its business.

Tracey’s long-term goal is “to use technology and intellectual property in creative ways to create economic opportunities in technology-challenged communities.” To this end, Tracey is serving his second term on the Board of Directors of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, which creates jobs and economic stability in Harlem and Upper Manhattan.

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