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Eric Pennington
Public administrator, lawyer and civic leader


• Business Administrator for City of Newark

• Responsible for the City’s $800 million budget and the        administration of over 3,000 city employees.

• Managing Partner of the Pennington Law Group

• Attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind

• Adjunct Professor at Seton Hall University School of Law,

• Clerk for the New Jersey Supreme Court and the United      States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

• BA from Thomas Edison State University

• JD from Rutgers University School of Law

Proust Questionnaire


Personal Motto: Don’t sweat the small stuff; and remember it’s all small stuff.

Role Model(s): I admire Ras J Baraka because of his commitment to social justice and eradication of poverty.

Advice to High School Self: Take risks in life and relationships.

What do you most value in your friends: Honesty, understanding and support.

When and where were you happiest: As 1 in 5 siblings, I enjoyed having private time with my mother.

What do you consider your greatest achievement: Raising my children to be kind.

What is your greatest regret: Succumbing to the fear of leaving home and the self-doubt of whether I could fit in at Yale University.

Biggest Influence

Relative: My brothers Malcolm and Scott.

Popular Culture: Kelce and Swift, Adele, Beyonce, and Cardi B.

Baraka said to be picking Pennington for BA
Source: New Jersey Globe, Newsweek, Wikipedia and Los Angeles Times

High School Experience

Attended: Clifford J. Scott High School  Graduated: 1977                                                                     

Favorite Subject: Honors English.

Afterschool Activities: Student Government, Basketball Manager, Football Manager, Track Manager, Audio Visual Club.

Fondest Memory: Getting a job with NY Knicks great Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Philadelphia 76’ers future Hall of Famer “Dr. J” Erving and Pele’.

Biggest Influence:

Relative: Mother- Always encouraged me to follow my dreams. She said, “If you can conceive it, you can achieve it.”

Outside Family: Supreme Court Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall allowed me to believe that I could be a lawyer.

Popular Culture: Star Wars.

Source: New York Post and Britannica

+ CLUB Moments

Belonging: Eric Pennington

Belonging: Eric Pennington

Belonging is a bit of an elusive concept sometimes. A lot of your ability to belong is based on where you've been in your life. And if you come from an environment that is different than mainstream America, it's kind of tough immediately to feel like you belong. You have to feel like you have to prove yourself almost every day. I'll go back to another experience in my life where I didn't feel like I belonged, and I think I may have made at that time the wrong choice, but it turned out to be another one of the experiences in life that helps you do better. As a senior in high school, I was invited to meet with the dean of Yale to see whether or not they would accept me and admit me into the school. It turns out that I was going to be admitted to the school and was invited up for a final visit to spend the night with some students at Yale, and then the next day to meet with the Dean and essentially sign an acceptance letter to go. Well, I went to Yale and they paid for my bus ticket. I went there. I got into New Haven, got off the bus and walked to the campus. And when I got to the campus, the area around the campus was very similar to my environment here in Essex County, it was very urban. There were stores on the corner, bodegas similar to what we had here, but then when I reached the campus and there were literally these ivy walls and these big gates with these big stone structures. And I walked through that gate and immediately felt like I did not belong. I did stay overnight and the next morning I got up and I did not go to the Dean's office. I went back home because I felt so out of place and so much like I could never belong in a place like that. That was one of the times where I deselected. And at that moment I thought that was the best thing for me to do. I have learned since that that was probably not the best idea in the world. They wrote me later to find out what happened and to see if I wanted to come back, and I did not.
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