KPJRI was fortunate to have the late A. S. Altekar, an eminent historian and inspiring leader, as its first director. Under his able and enlightened guidance, the academic programmes and activities of the institute took a concrete and definite shape. Subsequently, the institute has been led by reputed scholars such as K.K. Dutta, S. H. Askari, B.P. Sinha, A.L. Thakur, J.S. Jha, P.N. Ojha,, J.C. Jha, Dr. J.Pandey and Dr. Bijoy Kumar Chaudhary
Currently under the directorship of Shri Sanjeev Kumar Sinha, the institute has made valuable and commendable contributions in the field of research, publications and archaeological works.