Desmon Duncan-Walker is the daughter of Iris Duncan and George Walker, Jr., and the granddaughter of Collins and the late Gloria Chestnut-Duncan and the late George, Sr. and the late Alma McDonald-Walker. Her local family history points back to pioneer citizens of Gainesville, and can be traced back to both those who were enslaved at Haile Plantation, and those who escaped the massacre at Rosewood.
A proud product of the Alachua County Public School System, Desmon is a 1994 graduate of Buchholz High School where she was the first African American, female President of the Student Government Association.
In 1998, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications from Bethune-Cookman University (Daytona Beach, Florida), graduating with honors.
Shortly after graduation, Desmon moved to Miami, Florida where she pursued a career in administration of government programs and cultural institutions, including with Miami-Dade County’s Parks and Recreation Department. In 2008, she relocated to Orlando, Florida to pursue graduate studies, and received a Master of Science Degree in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University in 2010.
With Gainesville always in her heart and recalling the lifelong advice of her parents to, “Never forget the bridge that brought you over,” she returned to Gainesville in 2014 to assist at her family’s business and to give back to the community that she holds so dear.
Since returning home, she has been the founder of the Gainesville Alliance for Equitable Development, cultural coordinator at the A. Quinn Jones Museum & Cultural Center, a vice chair of the Gainesville Community Reinvestment Area’s Fifth Avenue/Pleasant Street Advisory Board, a member of the Alachua County Branch of the NAACP, talk show host, writer, and co-producer of “The Voice Radio Show,” and praise and worship leader at Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church, where she is a lifetime member. She considers it an honor and a privilege to add District 1 City Commissioner to the list.
In January 2023, members of the City Commission voted Commissioner Duncan-Walker to also serve as mayor pro-tem.