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.
Governor Turnbull was first elected in 1999 and served full two terms as governors. He was unable to run for reelection in 2006 due to being term-limited. While serving as governor, Turnbull served as a member of the National Governors Association, Southern Governors’ Association, and Democratic Governors Association. 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. Governor Turnbull has received numerous awards and citations for his outstanding contributions to public service, education, and cultural affairs.