George P. Shultz

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

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 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.

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Recent Commentary

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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.

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"New Nuclear's Potential" with George P. Shultz and James O. Ellis, Jr.

by George P. Shultz, James O. Ellis Jr. via Fellow Talks
Friday, June 26, 2015

Former Secretary of State George Shultz and retired Navy Admiral James Ellis in a conversation about small modular nuclear reactors: why people are interested again today and how they might measure up to the rest of the American energy landscape in terms of security, economics, and the environment.

Sidney Drell and Andrei Sakharov at Stanford, 1989
Analysis and Commentary

The Man Who Spoke Truth To Power

by Sidney D. Drell, Jim Hoagland, George P. Shultzvia Foreign Affairs
Thursday, June 25, 2015

In the decades since Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan began working together to end the Cold War, much has changed.

No Sign Of Restraint

by George P. Shultz, Henry A. Kissingervia Hoover Digest
Friday, June 19, 2015

Properly understood, the Iran nuclear deal is at best only a beginning, not an end—and regional stability may be farther away than ever.

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Analysis and Commentary

The Iran Deal And Its Consequences

by George P. Shultz, Henry A. Kissingervia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mixing shrewd diplomacy with defiance of U.N. resolutions, Iran has turned the negotiation on its head.

Analysis and Commentary

A Reagan Approach To Climate Change

by George P. Shultzvia Washington Post
Friday, March 13, 2015

The trend of disappearing summer sea ice in the Arctic is clear even though there is always some variability from year to year.

Preface: The War That Must Never Be Fought

by George P. Shultzvia Analysis
Thursday, March 12, 2015

The War That Must Never Be Fought borrows its title from President Ronald Reagan's State of the Union message of 1984 in which he declared "a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” In this introduction, former Secretary of State George Shultz relates how he felt on learning that U.S. atomic bombs had destroyed two major Japanese cities and paved the way for the end of World War ll in the Pacific.

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The War That Must Never Be Fought

by George P. Shultzvia Defining Ideas
Thursday, March 12, 2015

Nuclear weapons are the gravest threat to humanity’s survival.

Analysis and Commentary

Getting At The Roots Of Illegal Immigration

by George P. Shultzvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, March 5, 2015

Yes, secure the border—by helping address the conditions that drive desperate people here.

Analysis and Commentary

George Shultz and Henry Kissinger testify before the US Senate Armed Services Committee

by George P. Shultz, Henry A. Kissingervia United States Senate
Thursday, January 29, 2015

Distinguished Fellow George Shultz and Distinguished Visiting Fellow Henry Kissinger along with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright testify on Global Challenges and the U.S. National Security Strategy before the US Senate Armed Services Committee.