|Education||B.Sc, M.Sc (two), MBA, Ph.D|
|Alma mater||Rutgers University, Keble College, Oxford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)|
|Occupation||Chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, a business consultancy firm|
|Home town||Somerset, New Jersey|
|Known for||Winning season four of The Apprentice reality TV show|
|Children||Amira Leslie Pinkett (born 2007)|
Randal D. Pinkett (born 1971 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a business consultant who in 2005 was the winner of season four of the reality television show, The Apprentice. Pinkett was the first African American to win the US version of The Apprentice.
With an educational background in engineering and business, Pinkett is both a Rhodes Scholar and a Walter Byers Scholar, holding five academic degrees. Before entering the reality show, Pinkett had already established a career in business, and had become co-founder of business consulting firm BCT Partners in 2001. As winner of the fourth season in December 2005, Pinkett undertook a year long apprenticeship with Trump Entertainment Resorts in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
After The Apprentice, Pinkett has continued as chairman and CEO of the BCT consultancy, while also acting as a public speaker and appearing on later editions of the show, and on CEO Exchange, and also entering politics.
Pinkett graduated from Hightstown High School in Hightstown, New Jersey. Pinkett holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University. Pinkett graduated from Rutgers summa cum laude, and was the first African American from Rutgers to become a Rhodes Scholar. Pinkett also holds a M.Sc. degree in Computer Science from Oxford University, having attended Keble College as a Rhodes Scholar; an Master of Science degree in EECS (Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; an MBA degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management, as an MIT Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM) fellow; and a Ph.D. degree from the MIT Media Laboratory. Pinkett's Ph.D. thesis was titled "Creating Community Connections: Sociocultural Constructionism and an Asset-Based Approach to Community Technology and Community Building".
In 2005, a 34-year old Pinkett along with 17 other contestants entered the fourth series of The Apprentice. His wife had downloaded the application form, planting the idea of auditioning for the show in his mind. The Apprentice is a reality television series which premiered in January 2004, in which American entrepreneur Donald Trump uses a series of tasks and a process of elimination to ultimately select one candidate for a year long apprenticeship with one of his companies. The fourth season began filming in May 2005, and was aired from September 2005, with the finale airing in two-parts on the Thursday night of December 8 and 15. Pinkett reached the finale with one other contestant, 23 year old financial journalist Rebecca Jarvis. Pinkett was to organise a celebrity ball-game for Autism Speaks, while Jarvis' task was to stage a comedy night in aid of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Despite the game being rained off, Pinkett raised nearly $11,000.
In the final judgement, Pinkett was criticised by Trump for not spotlighting the celebrities in attendance at his event, and by Trump's advisor Carolyn Kepcher for not having a back up plan when the weather turned. Despite this, Pinkett was chosen by Trump as the winner, describing Pinkett as an "amazing leader" and saying "Rarely have I seen a leader as good as you, and you lead through niceness". Moments after the announcement, Trump asked Pinkett his opinion as to whether he should take the unprecedented step and also hire the "outstanding" Jarvis too. In his reply, Pinkett asserted that there could only be one winner of the contest, a view which Trump chose to agree with. This stance attracted much comment after the show, with Pinkett later defending his rationale, but making it clear he had no objection to Jarvis being hired by the Trump organisation at a later date. The reactions had taken Pinkett by surprise, but he later stated he remained on good terms with Jarvis.
Pinkett was to start his apprenticeship on February 6, 2006. His task was to oversee the $110m renovation of the Taj Mahal, the Plaza and the Marina, three casino resorts operated by Trump Entertainment Resorts in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
On July 14, 2009 it was reported by a number of sources that Pinkett had emerged as the frontrunner to be New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine's selection for lieutenant governor in the 2009 Gubernatorial election. Some reports indicated an announcement would be made on Thursday, July 16. However, no announcement took place, and criticism appeared in the media and from some political leaders regarding Corzine's potential selection of a running mate with no experience in public office. Later in the week, news reports indicated Pinkett's selection was less likely and that other front runners had emerged, due at least in part to public criticism of the idea of a political newcomer as the Governor's running mate. On July 24, Corzine selected State Senator Loretta Weinberg. Currently, Pinkett is the chair of the State Democratic Committee's Yes We Can 2.0; its name based on Barack Obama's campaign slogan, it seeks to turn out newly-registered voters from the 2008 presidential election for the gubernatorial election.
According to his website, he was also an academic All-American at Rutgers. Pinkett was named a member of the 1993 USA TODAY All-USA Academic Team. While at Rutgers, Pinkett was a member of the Cap and Skull organization. He has also served as President of MEET, the Rutgers Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, and was the captain of the Rutgers varsity men's track and field team, competing both as a high jumper and long jumper. He was the 1994 male Walter Byers Scholarship winner as the NCAA's top scholar athlete. Pinkett is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first inter-collegiate Greek-letter organization established for African Americans.
In 2006, Pinkett was given the Paul Robeson Leadership Award by Concerned Black Men of Massachusetts.
|The Apprentice Winners