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New Jersey's Most Interesting Man, Dr. Randal Pinkett (LA PARKER COLUMN)

Randal Pinkett. (LA Parker/The Trentonian)

Dr. Randal Pinkett lists the last person a reporter with time constraints would want to meet at the Trenton Transit Center.

Unlike the famous Dos Equis advert, which portrays Johnathan Goldsmith as the most interesting man in the world, Pinkett outshines the beer salesman.

Many know Pinkett from his winning fourth season of “The Apprentice,” and while that opportunity brought him fame, the Hightstown High Class of 1989 graduate achieved notable success in education and business.

The Pinkett biography includes a degree from Rutgers University in 1994, where he became the first African-American Scarlet Knight to become a Rhodes Scholar. Pinkett holds five degrees, including a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Rutgers University, where he competed as a high jumper, long jumper and captain of the men's track and field team; a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Oxford in England; and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, MBA and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Pinkett is co-founder, chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, a global, multi-million dollar research, training, consulting, technology and data analytics company dedicated to delivering diverse insights that create justice.

Pinkett said his appearance on Donald Trump's television show proved positive.

“It gave me a platform. However, before The Apprentice, I was successful in many aspects of my life. The show allowed me to highlight a company founded by my longtime friends Jeffrey Robinson, Lawrence Hibbert and Dallas Grundy,” Pinkett explained.

Pinkett recently co-authored a book with Robinson, a provost at Rutgers University-Newark, titled “Black Faces in High Places: Ten Strategic Actions for Black Professionals to Reach the Top and Stay There,” which won an Axiom Award one of the most prestigious awards for books on economics.

The guide is a follow-up to their 2010 collaboration entitled “Black Faces in White Places: 10 Game-Changing Strategies to Achieve Success and Find Greatness.” Robinson and Pinkett met at Rutgers' New Brunswick when they were roommates in the mid-1990s.

Pinkett doubled down on Axiom's recognition when his work, “Data-Driven DEI: The Tools and Metrics You Need to Measure, Analyze and Improve Diversity, Equity & Inclusion,” won a gold medal in the Business/Human Resources/Employee category this year Education.

Pinkett lives in nearby Dayton with his wife, Natasha Williams-Pinkett, and their four children. The former three-sport (football, basketball, track) star at Hightstown shared fond memories.

In September, Pinkett will be inducted into the Hightstown Basketball Hall of Fame.

“I think our senior year we had a 21-4 record, still the best record for boys basketball in Hightstown, and three of those losses were against Trenton High,” recalls Pinkett, a track and field commit.

We didn't have time to talk anymore, but we know that. If Hightstown created a Hall of Fame category for student-athletes, Dr. Randal Pinkett tops this list.

LA Parker is a Trentonian columnist. Find him on Twitter @LAParker6 or email him at [email protected].

Anna Harden

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