CHARLES W. TURNBULL was born in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. After completing his elementary and secondary education in the public school system of the Virgin Islands, he attended Hampton University, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1958 and a master’s degree in 1959. He was awarded a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Minnesota in 1976. He previously worked as an elementary and secondary school teacher, as assistant principal and principal for Charlotte Amalie High School, and as assistant commissioner and commissioner of the department of education.
During Turnbull’s tenure as commissioner of education, a cultural education division was established to promote greater knowledge, awareness, and appreciation of the history and culture of the Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean. Alternative education and school volunteerism were firmly established, new schools were built, and double sessions were eliminated.
Most recently, Turnbull served as a professor of history at the University of the Virgin Islands, and is currently a professor emeritus of history at the University of the Virgin Islands. Turnbull has served as a member and chairman of the Virgin Islands Board of Education as well as a member of four Virgin Islands constitutional conventions. He currently serves as chairman of the Public Finance Authority and is on the board of the West Indian Company Limited. Governor Turnbull has received numerous awards and citations for his outstanding contributions to public service, education, and cultural affairs.