George P. Shultz

Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow
Awards and Honors:
Economic Club of New York Award for Leadership Excellence
(2011)
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Philosophical Society
Biography: 

George Pratt Shultz has had a distinguished career in government, in academia, and in the world of business. He is one of two individuals who have held four different federal cabinet posts; he has taught at three of this country’s great universities; and for eight years he was president of a major engineering and construction company.

Shultz was born in New York City on December 13, 1920, and grew up in Englewood, New Jersey. He attended Princeton University, graduating in 1942 with a BA in economics. Shortly after graduation, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and served through 1945. He then resumed his studies, this time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he earned a PhD in industrial economics in 1949. From 1948 to 1957 he taught at MIT, taking a leave of absence in 1955 to serve as a senior staff economist on President Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisers.

In 1957, Shultz joined the faculty of the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business as a professor of industrial relations. He was named dean five years later. From 1968 to 1969 he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He returned to government when he was appointed secretary of labor by President Nixon in 1969. In June 1970, he became the first director of the newly formed Office of Management and Budget. In May 1972, he was named secretary of the Treasury, a post he held for two years. During this period, Shultz also served as chairman of the Council on Economic Policy, negotiated a series of trade protocols with the Soviet Union, and represented the United States at the Tokyo meeting on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Shultz left government service in 1974 to become president and director of the Bechtel Group, where he remained until 1982. While at Bechtel, he maintained close ties with the academic world by joining the faculty of Stanford University.

Shultz held two key positions in the Reagan administration: chairman of the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board (1981–82) and secretary of state (1982–89). As secretary of state, he played a key role in implementing a foreign policy that led to the successful conclusion of the Cold War and the development of strong relationships between the United States and the countries of the Asia-Pacific region including China, Japan, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

After leaving office, Shultz rejoined the Bechtel Group as director and senior counselor. He also rejoined Stanford as professor of international economics at the Graduate School of Business and as a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution. In 2001, Shultz was named the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

In January 1989, Shultz was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He is also a recipient of the Seoul Peace Prize (1992), the West Point Sylvanus Thayer Award (1992), the Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service (2001), the Reagan Distinguished American Award (2002), and the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training’s Ralph Bunche Award for Diplomatic Excellence (2002). Other honors awarded in 2002 include the Elliot Richardson Prize for Excellence and Integrity in Public Service, the James H. Doolittle Award, and the John Witherspoon Medal for Distinguished Statesmanship. The George Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Virginia, was dedicated in a ceremony on May 29, 2002. Shultz was named a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association in 2005 and received the American Spirit Award from the National World War II Museum in 2006. In 2007, he received the George Marshall Award from the United States Agency for International Development and the Truman Medal for Economic Policy. He received the Rumford Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008 and the Commandant’s Leadership Award from the Marine Corps–Law Enforcement Foundation in 2009. In 2011, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s Distinguished Citizen Award and the first Economic Club of New York Award for Leadership Excellence. In 2012, he was presented with a Democracy Service Medal by the National Endowment for Democracy and received the Henry A. Kissinger Prize at the American Academy in Berlin. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation dedicated the Global Issues and Reagan-Gorbachev Summits Galleries in his honor in June 2012.

Shultz’s publications include Learning from Experience (Hoover Institution Press, October 2016); Issues on My Mind: Strategies for the Future (Hoover Institution Press, 2013); The Nuclear Enterprise: High-Consequence Accidents: How to Enhance Safety and Minimize Risks in Nuclear Weapons and Reactors (Hoover Institution Press, 2012), coedited with Sidney Drell; Ideas & Action: Featuring 10 Commandments for Negotiations (2010); Ending Government Bailouts as We Know Them (Hoover Institution Press 2010), coedited with Kenneth E. Scott and John Taylor; Putting Our House in Order: A Citizen’s Guide to Social Security and Health Care Reform, with John B. Shoven (2008); Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State (1993); Economic Policy beyond the Headlines, with Kenneth Dam (1977); Workers and Wages in the Urban Labor Market, with Albert Rees (1970); Guidelines, Informal Controls, and the Marketplace, with Robert Aliber (1966); Strategies for the Displaced Worker: Confronting Economic Change, with Arnold Weber (1966); Management Organization and the Computer, with Thomas Whisler (eds.) (1960); Labor Problems: Cases and Readings, with John Coleman (1959); The Dynamics of a Labor Market, with Charles Myers (1951); Pressures on Wage Decisions (1951); "Case Study No. 10," with Robert P. Crisara, in Causes of Industrial Peace under Collective Bargaining (1951); and "Case Study No. 7," with Charles A. Myers, in Causes of Industrial Peace under Collective Bargaining (1950).

Shultz holds honorary degrees from Notre Dame, Columbia, Loyola, University of Pennsylvania, Rochester, Princeton, Carnegie-Mellon, City University of New York, Yeshiva University, Weizmann Institute of Science, Baruch College of New York, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tbilisi State University in the Republic of Georgia, Technion, Keio University in Tokyo, Williams College, and Peking University.

Shultz is honorary chairman of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, chair of the Precourt Institute Energy Advisory Council at Stanford University, chair of the MIT Energy Initiative External Advisory Board, and chair of the Hoover Institution’s Shultz-Stephenson Task Force on Energy Policy. He serves on the boards of directors of Acuitus, Fremont Group, Theranos, and Xyleco.

Filter By:

Topic

Type

Recent Commentary

Blank Section (Placeholder)

Learning From Experience

by George P. Shultzvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Monday, October 3, 2016

George P. Shultz recounts a lifetime of experiences in government, business, and academia and describes how those experiences have shaped his worldview. In a plainspoken manner, he provides the reader with keys to understanding how he helped bring the nuclear disarmament movement into the mainstream of American policy discussions, why he urges his Republican Party colleagues to adopt measures to address climate change as an insurance policy for the future, why leaders must learn to govern over diversity, and more.

George P. Shultz
Featured

A World Awash In Change

by George P. Shultzvia Real Clear Politics
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Reflecting on my time as secretary of state, I worry about the sorry state of the world and my instinct is to say something constructive about the problems. How to start?

Blank Section (Placeholder)

Blueprint for America

via Books by Hoover Fellows
Friday, July 8, 2016

Scholars at the Hoover Institution—professors, thinkers, and practitioners of global renown in their respective fields—offer a series of policy ideas that would shore up the long-term foundations of American strengths.

Featured

Imagining ‘A World Without Nuclear Weapons’

by George P. Shultz, James Goodby, Sidney D. Drell, Raymond Jeanlozvia The New York Times
Friday, April 15, 2016

“From Hiroshima to a Nuke-Free World” (editorial, April 13) underscored the need for “bolder action” than the Obama administration has been able to take in recent years to move toward its long-term goal of a world without nuclear weapons, a vision that we share.

Featured

Finding The Money For America The Fixer-Upper

by George P. Shultz, John F. Coganvia Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Roads and water systems need repair. Funding can be found by making needed government reforms.

A Conversation with Former Secretary of State George Shultz
Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

A Conversation With Former Secretary Of State George Shultz

interview with George P. Shultzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, February 11, 2016

George Shultz discusses his time in the Reagan White House and what type of president America needs today.

Global Image
Featured

Energy Innovation Needs New Private-Sector Push

by Arun Majumdar, John Deutch, Norman Augustine, George P. Shultzvia Bloomberg
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Two months after the end of the Paris climate summit, it seems natural to ask: What are the next steps? Do we need to do more?

Analysis and Commentary

We Reduced Smoking, Why Not Drug Use?

by George P. Shultzvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Decriminalization, better treatment programs and strong social messages are essential to ending the scourge.

Featured

What Bill O’Reilly Gets Wrong About Ronald Reagan

by George P. Shultzvia The New York Times
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Having served for almost seven years as Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state, I reacted to Bill O’Reilly’s and Martin Dugard’s latest book, “Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency,” with surprise and dismay, and some alarm.
Blank Section (Placeholder)

Andrei Sakharov: The Conscience of Humanity

by George P. Shultz, Sidney D. Drellvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Monday, October 5, 2015

Andrei Sakharov holds an honored place in the pantheon of the world's greatest scientists, reformers, and champions of human rights.

Pages