John T. Conway was an American naval officer, attorney, FBI agent, and government administrator.
Conway was born in 1924 in New York City. During World War II, at the age of 18, Conway enlisted in the Navy. As part of his training he spent some time studying at Tufts University, where he would return after the war to complete a degree in engineering. He then went on to Columbia Law School, where he graduated as president of his class.
Soon after, Conway was offered a position as a special agent in the FBI. During his tenure, Conway was assigned to tail J. Robert Oppenheimer during the investigation into his communist ties. Conway later remembered, “[We] were assigned to the next room to Oppenheimer. So we were there all night long to be sure that he didn’t leave since [J. Edgar] Hoover had personally directed this surveillance at the request of Admiral Strauss. We figured we better not mess this one up.”
Conway went on to join the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy, a bipartisan group which functioned as a liaison between Congress and the Atomic Energy Commission. It was also the only joint committee with the power to introduce legislation. Conway would eventually become its executive director. Among other duties, Conway traveled all over the globe gathering information and solving problems.
Conway would go on to serve as the Chairman of the Nuclear Facilities Safety Committee for the Consolidated Edison Company, an energy company in New York City. He later became the President and CEO of the American Nuclear Energy Council. In 1989, Conway was appointed the first Chairman of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board by President Bush, a position he would hold until 2005. During this time, Conway was in charge of safety regulations for nuclear facilities across the United States.
Conway died on February 12, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia.