2024 Tillman Scholar

Duilia Turner

Air Force
Florida International University
Doctorate in Business Administration

“Everyone deserves a chance to shine brighter. I strive to cross borders, break barriers, amplify unheard voices, and elevate people worldwide to become agents of light and positive change.”

Born in New York to Colombian immigrants, Duilia Turner grew up in Brazil, later returning to the United States. Facing financial hardship and having a great interest in science, she enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1997. She served actively for twenty-five years, with deployments to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Afghanistan. 

While in uniform, Duilia held key positions in crisis response, STEM, human capital, and global management. As a technician and scientist, she supported shuttle missions—including STS-95 with Senator John Glenn—and served as the Chief Meteorologist for President Obama’s Air Force One. As a military diplomat, she worked across Latin America and became the first Chief of the Women, Peace and Security Program at Southern Command, focusing on issues affecting women and girls during crises and conflict. 

Currently, she leads the Women, Peace and Security Forum at the Jack Gordon Institute, and serves as a Senior Fellow for Women in International Security. As a doctoral student, Duilia’s research focuses on how servicewomen’s leadership intersects with progress and stability, organizational behavior, international values, and best practices. She is also the founder of LeadIn Consulting. 


With an extensive cultural background and four languages, she aims to amplify international and cross-sector partnerships to advance gender perspectives and affordable lighting solutions in humanitarian contexts. Through volunteering, she has collaborated with various organizations to elevate women’s and veteran’s voices, including the Miami Dolphins, Team Rubicon, and the Miami-Dade Military Museum, where she curated a permanent exhibit honoring servicewomen. She is married to Steve Turner, an Army veteran, and they have twin boys.