Henry Loomis (April 19, 1919 – November 2, 2008) was appointed director of the Voice of America in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, resigning from the post in 1965 after policy conflicts with President Lyndon B. Johnson, and was appointed by Richard Nixon in 1972 to serve as president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Loomis was born on April 19, 1919 in Tuxedo Park, New York. His father, Alfred Lee Loomis built a fortune financing public utilities and sold out just before the Wall Street crash of 1929. Alfred Loomis set up a physics laboratory in an old mansion where Henry worked with his father as a teenager on brain-wave research, including participating as a volunteer in his father's experiments. The two later took part in pioneering research on radar.
Loomis attended Harvard University and left in 1940 during his senior year to enlist in the United States Navy. Harvard granted him an undergraduate degree in 1946 based on his radar instruction while in the Navy.
In the navy, he was on the staff of the Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet Headquarters in Pearl Harbor. Loomis was responsible for the creation of training materials for radar, and worked with pilots and officers on ships to help overcome their wariness of the technology and develop their skills in its use. Loomis was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and left the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Late in the war, Loomis had a chance meeting with United States Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, a cousin of Loomis', and Lt. Gen. Leslie Groves, head of the Manhattan Project. In a discussion about potential target cities in Japan for the atomic bomb being developed, Loomis dissuaded them from targeting Kyoto, citing the city's art treasures he had learned about while studying Japanese history at Harvard.
He attended the University of California, Berkeley after the war, where he took graduate courses in physics, including work as an assistant with Ernest Lawrence at the school's radiation laboratory. He and spent four years as assistant to the Dr. James Rhyne Killian, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and led the research and intelligence functions at the United States Information Agency. Loomis later directed the staff of Dr. Killian, who had been appointed as the President's science advisor.
He served for 13 years on the board of the not-for-profit Mitre Corporation, which was affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked with the Central Intelligence Agency and United States Department of Defense after graduating from Berkeley.