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.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Brain Research and the Challenge of Aging

by George P. Shultz, Stanley B. Prusinervia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The study of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's consumes less than 2% of the National Institute of Health budget. We can do more...

Brain Research and the Challenge of Aging

by George P. Shultzvia Advancing a Free Society
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The human brain has produced truly remarkable advances in medical science, creating new medical devices, pharmaceutical products, and diagnostic and surgical procedures that enable us to enjoy longer, healthier lives.

A Real Debate About Drug Policy

by George P. Shultzvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, June 13, 2011

By George P. Shultz and Paul Volcker

"The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world."

Analysis and Commentary

A Real Debate About Drug Policy

by George P. Shultz, Paul Volckervia Wall Street Journal
Saturday, June 11, 2011

George P. Shultz and Paul A. Volcker on why the 'war on drugs' has failed—and what to do next...

Analysis and Commentary

The Constitution Doesn't Mention Czars

by George P. Shultzvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, April 11, 2011

Unaccountable White House aides are a product of a broken cabinet-nomination process. This is not the form of government the Founders intended...

Education reform solves state’s budget crisis

by George P. Shultzvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, April 11, 2011

By George P. Shultz and Eric Hanushek

The Constitution Doesn’t Mention Czars

by George P. Shultzvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, April 11, 2011

A pattern of governance has emerged in Washington that departs substantially from that envisaged in our Constitution.

Analysis and Commentary

Education reform solves state's budget crisis

by George P. Shultz, Eric Hanushekvia San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sacramento is awash with discussions of deals about the budget (though apparently, despite the talk, there is no deal)...We offer a real deal...

Analysis and CommentaryBlank Section (Placeholder)

Time for a Budget Game-Changer

by Gary S. Becker, George P. Shultz, John B. Taylorvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, April 4, 2011

Assurance that current tax levels will remain in place would provide an immediate stimulus. House Republican budget planners are on the right track...

Rockets
Analysis and Commentary

Deterrence in the Age of Nuclear Proliferation

by George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, Sam Nunnwith Hoover Institutionvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, March 7, 2011

The doctrine of mutual assured destruction is obsolete in the post-Cold War era...

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