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James B. Conant

James Bryant Conant was an American scholar and educational administrator, who also performed public service in a variety of capacities. A PhD graduate of Harvard himself, he became president of Harvard in 1933 and instituted a number of modernizing measures. He promoted diversity in the student body and permitted women to enroll in Harvard Medical.

During World War II, Conant was chairman of the National Defense Research Committee and oversaw many wartime research projects including the Manhattan Project. Following the war, along with J. Robert Oppenheimer, he opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb. He retired as president of Harvard in 1953 and became the United States High Commissioner to Germany, and oversaw the restoration of democracy in that country. He died in 1978.