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

Who Read What In 2018: Politics And Policy

by George P. Shultzvia The Wall Street Journal
Monday, December 10, 2018

[Subscription Required] Doris Kearns Goodwin has given us numerous books that stimulate the mind and inspire our imagination. Her latest, “Leadership: In Turbulent Times,” is no exception.

Featured

We Participated In INF Negotiations. Abandoning It Threatens Our Very Existence.

by Mikhail Gorbachev, George P. Shultzvia The Washington Post
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

More than 30 years have passed since the day the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union, meeting in Geneva, adopted a joint statement declaring that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” It was more than just rhetoric. Less than a year later, in Reykjavik, Iceland, they agreed on the parameters of future treaties on the elimination of intermediate-range nuclear forces, or INF, and the radical reduction of strategic nuclear arms. A year after that, in 1987, the first of these treaties was signed in Washington. 

Featured

How We Can Help The Migrant Caravan

by George P. Shultz, Pedro Aspevia The Washington Post
Thursday, November 22, 2018

The highly publicized progress by a “caravan” of approximately 5,000 migrants from Central America to the United States underlines a persistent trend. The reason for the trend is obvious. Economic conditions in Central America are grim, and the many young people there have poor prospects for advancement. The countries these migrants are fleeing are also plagued by violence.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Not Allow Priests To Marry, And Women To Be Priests?

by George P. Shultzvia The Washington Post
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

I have high respect for the traditional moral authority of the Roman Catholic Church. However, the revelations of predatory harm done to children by ordained priests in many countries over decades represent an unconscionable tragedy and undermine the moral authority of the church.

Related Research

Make Failure Tolerable

by George P. Shultzvia Revisiting the 2008 Financial Crisis
Friday, November 9, 2018
An excerpt from Ending Government Bailouts As We Know Them, Kenneth E. Scott, George P. Shultz, John B. Taylor (Eds.) Hoover Institution Press, 2009
Papers And Presentations

The 2008 Financial Crisis: Lessons Learned

by George P. Shultzvia Revisiting the 2008 Financial Crisis
Friday, November 9, 2018

As I see the financial crisis of 2008, the following steps outline what took place. One of the main lessons to learn from the financial crisis is the importance of holding institutions - large and small, and including the federal government –accountable for their actions.

Featured

George Shultz: We Must Preserve This Nuclear Treaty

by George P. Shultzvia The New York Times
Thursday, October 25, 2018

This is the time to expand, not abandon, an important nuclear weapons agreement with Russia.

Related Research

Remarks on the Financial Crisis

by George P. Shultzvia Revisiting the 2008 Financial Crisis
Friday, October 19, 2018
Excerpts from “A Conversation about Key Conclusions,” in Ending Government Bailouts As We Know Them, Kenneth E. Scott, George P. Shultz, John B. Taylor (Eds.) Hoover Institution Press,2009
Featured

To Curb Climate Change, Tax Carbon—Then Give Americans The Money

by George P. Shultz, Ted Halsteadvia Wired
Friday, October 12, 2018

Most voters want the government to limit carbon emissions, but at a time when half of all Americans own less than $500 in savings, climate ranks low on their priority list. Through our proposal, the Baker-Schultz Carbon Dividends Plan, the United States can address economic insecurity and climate risk at the same time. In essence, the plan divvies out cash to Americans in support of a low-carbon future. And it has the backing of Big Oil.

From the Conveners

Letter From the Conveners: Russia In An Emerging New World

by George P. Shultz, James Timbievia Governance In An Emerging New World
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Dramatic changes are afoot. The future will not be like the past.  Demographic changes and migration are having a profound effect as the workforces of some countries age and shrink, while others expand. The Project on Governance in an Emerging New World aims to understand these changes and inform strategies that both address the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by these dramatic transformations.  We will explore the implications for our democracy, our economy, and our national security, and for other countries.

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