You've seen him most prominently as the 2005 winner of the wildly popular TV show The Apprentice but there is so much more to learn about Randal Pinkett.
For some people, pursuing an undergraduate degree in engineering is rewarding enough, but Pinkett continued his education further... to the tune of five degrees. After his engineering B.S., he went on to become a Rhodes Scholar and received a masters in computer science at Oxford University. Later came an MBA and a master's in electrical engineering, followed by a Ph.D. in media arts and sciences, all from MIT.
Pinkett has not confined his accomplishments to academia. His doctoral dissertation investigated ways to bridge the digital divide in low-income communities. Pinkett raised $350,000 in grants and offered every family at Camfield Estates, a low income housing community in Boston, a new computer, high speed Internet access, training, and customized web design so residents could communicate with each other to discuss jobs, day care opportunities, etc.
A "serial entrepreneur," Pinkett has launched five socially responsible business ventures. First, he co-founded MBS Enterprises, selling CDs and cassettes out of his college dorm and using the proceeds to fund high school outreach activities. MBS evolved into MBS Educational Services & Training, a firm committed to providing training and development for emerging and seasoned professionals. Third, Pinkett co-founded the Inner City Consulting Group, a multi-disciplinary consulting firm that specialized in the unique needs of inner city communities. Fourth, 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.
Pinkett is currently president and CEO of Building Community Technology (BCT) Partners, which works with corporations, government agencies and nonprofits in the areas of housing, community and economic development, human services, technology, healthcare and education. Pinkett's efforts in reforming low-income communities have contributed to transforming these neighborhoods into viable communities, providing hands-on career preparation and training in information technology.
Recently, he has been politically active, leading the transition team for Cory Booker, newly elected mayor of Newark.
Pinkett has been nationally recognized in identifying the long-term benefits of technology for low-income residents. He has garnered a variety of awards and has been profiled by USA Today, Parade Magazine, the NY Times, the Boston Globe and Ebony, in their "30 Leaders Under 30" issue.
NOTE: Bio is as it appeared in the Forum program from November 29, 2006.
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