Charles Wesley Turnbull
Former Governor of the United States Virgin Islands
Charles Wesley Turnbull is the sixth elected Governor of the United States Virgin Islands.
Early life and education
Charles Wesley 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.
Prior to being elected in 1998, he was a professor at the University of the Virgin Islands, Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner of the territorial Department of Education, Principal and assistant principal of Charlotte Amalie High School, and a teacher in elementary and secondary schools.
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.
Turnbull serves as Governor of the U.S Virgin Islands from 4 January 1999 to 1 January 2007. During his tenure as Governor, Turnbull served as a member of the National Governors Association, the Southern Governors' Association, and the Democratic Governors Association.
Turnbull was prohibited from seeking re-election in 2006 due to term limits. His term of office expired on 1 January 2007, and he was succeeded by John de Jongh. Turnbull is currently a member of the Virgin Islands Fifth Constitutional Convention.
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.
Honours and awards
Turnbull has received numerous awards and citations for his outstanding contributions to public service, education, and cultural affairs.