Winner of NBC’s “Apprentice” Season 4
and President & CEO, BCT Partners
Dr. Randal Pinkett has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author, scholar and community servant. He is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, a multimillion dollar management, technology and policy consulting firm based in Newark, NJ. BCT Partners works with corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations in the areas of housing and community development, economic development, human services, government, healthcare and education. A partial list of BCT’s clients includes: Johnson & Johnson, Ford Foundation, Pfizer, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Hewlett-Packard, Annie E. Casey Foundation and Microsoft.
Prior to founding BCT Partners, Dr. Pinkett obtained corporate experience as a Member of Technical Staff at General Electric, AT&T Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies. A “serial entrepreneur”, he also previously launched four socially responsible business ventures. First, Dr. Pinkett co-founded MBS Enterprises, selling compact discs and cassette tapes out of his dormitory in college and using the proceeds to fund high school outreach activities. MBS later evolved into his second venture, MBS Educational Services & Training, a firm committed to providing the highest caliber training and development for emerging and seasoned professionals. MBS’s past clients include General Motors, the United Negro College Fund, Exxon, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), Merck & Company, Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, Johnson & Johnson, PNC Bank, Citigroup and Corning Incorporated. Third, Dr. Pinkett co-founded the Inner City Consulting Group, a multi-disciplinary consulting firm that specialized in the unique needs of inner city communities. Fourth, in affiliation with One Economy, Dr. Pinkett co-founded Access One Corporation, with a mission to ensure that affordable housing was equipped for the 21st century by implementing innovative, sustainable, broadband network and telecommunications solutions. BCT Partners represents his fifth and latest business venture, whereas across all five of his companies and to this day, Dr. Pinkett has maintained a relationship as business partners with his close friends and college classmates, Mr. Lawrence Hibbert, BCT’s Chief President; Mr. Dallas Grundy, former BCT Chief Operating Officer; and Dr. Jeffrey Robinson, Chair of BCT’s Advisory Board and Professor at New York University (NYU).
Awards and Accolades
A sought after public speaker for corporate, youth and community groups, Dr. Pinkett has been featured on nationally televised programs such as The Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, and CNN, as well as featured in Parade magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. He was the Season 4 Winner of NBC’s hit reality television The Apprentice with Donald Trump. He served as an executive with Trump Entertainment Resorts in Atlantic City, NJ, where he was responsible for overseeing both renovation and information technology projects. He has re-appeared on The Apprentice as a boardroom advisor and is a regular segment host for CEO EXCHANGE on PBS. He is a Leadership New Jersey (LNJ) Fellow, a Next Generation Leadership (NGL) Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation, and is a recipient of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Fellowship, Lucent Technologies Cooperative Research Fellowship Program (CRFP), University of Oxford Graduate Scholarship, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) National Member of the Year, Top 20 Scholars by USA TODAY newspaper, NCAA Academic All-American, NCAA Walter Byers Graduate Scholarship, New Jersey Martin Luther King Commemorative Commission Triumph Award, and the MIT Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award, from among a host of other recognitions and accolades. He is a proud brand ambassador for Verizon Communications, Outback Steakhouse, and the Miller Urban Entreprenuers Series.
Dr. Pinkett holds five academic degrees including the following: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, that he completed with a 3.9 GPA while serving as President of MEET, the Rutgers Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Captain of the Rutgers University Varsity Men’s Track and Field team competing as a high jumper and long jumper; Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Computer Science from Oxford University, England as a Rhodes Scholar; Master of Science (S.M.) in Electrical Engineering from the MIT School of Engineering and Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the MIT Sloan School of Management as a participant in the MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) Program; and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from the MIT Media Laboratory. Most notably, Dr. Pinkett made history as the first African-American ever to receive a Rhodes Scholarship at Rutgers University.
A published writer and academic scholar, Dr. Pinkett’s first book, Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching a Multimillion-Dollar Business, was released in February 2007. That same year he also released the audio book, The No-Money Down CEO: How to Start Your Dream Business with Little or No Cash. In addition to more than 20 papers and articles Dr. Pinkett has authored chapters in five books including: Managing IT/Community Partnerships in the 21st Century; Journey to the Ph.D.: How to Navigate the Process as African-Americans; Community Practice in the Network Society: Local Action/Global Interaction; The Network Society: A Cross-cultural Perspective; and Universal Usability: Designing Computer Interfaces for Diverse User Populations. His master’s thesis at the University of Oxford was entitled, “Hardware/Software Co-Design and Digital Speech Processing”. His master’s thesis at MIT was entitled, “Product Development Process Modeling and Analysis of Digital Wireless Telephones.” His doctoral dissertation at MIT was entitled, “Creating Community Connections: Sociocultural Constructionism and an Asset-Based Approach to Community Technology and Community Building in a Low-Income Community.” Lastly, he is currently co-authoring a book with his Rutgers roommate and business partner, Dr. Jeffrey Robinson, tentatively entitled, Black Faces in White Places, which chronicles their experiences as African Americans who have successfully navigagted predominantly white institutions.
Dr. Pinkett maintains an active involvement in community service. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF), and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). He is a national spokesperson for Autism Speaks, the National Black MBA Association (Gold Key Access events), New Jersey Reads (“Change a Life Through Literacy” campaign) and Junior Achievement of New York (Groundhog Job Shadow Day program). BCT Partners does considerable work with community-based organizations; his doctoral dissertation at MIT examined the role of high technology in improving the quality of life for low-income residents. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute (NJPPRI), the Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network (N-TEN) and the Institute for Innovation in Government Technology (IIGT) and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Community Technology Centers’ Network (CTCNet).
Born in Philadelphia, PA, as the son of the Late Leslie Pinkett and Elizabeth Pinkett, and raised in East Windsor, NJ, along with his brother, Dan, a manager at Prudential Insurance Company, he currently resides in New Jersey, where he is happily married to Zahara Wadud-Pinkett, a Senior Alumni Relations Officer at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. They are both proud parents of their daughter and two sons. Dr. Pinkett is an active member of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in New Jersey, and firmly believes that “for those to whom much is given, much is expected.”
The student entrepreneur's guide to launching a multimillion dollar business
Black Faces in Whites Places
10 steps for African-Americans looking to redefine the game
Narrowing the Digital Divide
The potential and the limits of the U.S. community technology movement