Charles L. Harper Jr. is former Executive Director and Senior Vice President of the John Templeton Foundation.

Harper was originally trained in engineering at Princeton University, where he earned his BSE, and went on to obtain his DPhil in planetary science from the University of Oxford for a thesis on the nature of time in cosmology. He also holds the Diploma in Theology from Oxford and a Certificate of Special Studies in Management and Administration from Harvard University. Harper was a National Research Council fellow at the NASA Johnson Space Center from 1988 to 1991. He also was a research scientist in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University.

Harper is coeditor of Science & Ultimate Reality: Quantum Theory, Cosmology and Complexity (Cambridge University Press, 2004). His other scientific publications include more than fifty research articles in scientific journals, including Nature, Science, and the Astrophysical Journal.