Past Director

J. Robert Oppenheimer

Natural Sciences

Theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer served as the third Director of the Institute from 1947 until 1966, thus far the longest tenure of any Institute Director. Prior to his Directorship, in 1942, Oppenheimer was appointed to the Manhattan Project, and he oversaw the construction of the Los Alamos laboratory, where he gathered the best minds in physics to work on the problem of creating an atomic bomb. While Director of the Institute, Oppenheimer was simultaneously Chairman of the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission from 1947 through 1952, overseeing all atomic research and development in the United States. 

Dates at IAS
  • Natural Sciences
University of Göttingen Ph.D., 1927
Harvard University B.A., 1925
Enrico Fermi Award 1963
Presidential Medal for Merit 1946
Member, American Philosophical Society 1945
Fellow, National Academy of Sciences 1941
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Atomic Energy Commission 1947–1952 Chairman, General Advisory Commission
University of California, Berkeley and California Institute of Technology 1929–1947 Professor of Physics; Assistant Professor of Physics; Associate Professor of Physics
Los Alamos National Laboratory 1943–1945 Director