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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In the News

State Department 230th Anniversary Celebration

interview with George P. Shultz, Condoleezza Rice, Niall Ferguson, Henry A. Kissingervia C-SPAN
Monday, July 29, 2019

On July 27, 1789, the Department of State became the first US government executive branch department to be established. Hoover Institution fellows George Shultz, Condoleezza Rice, Niall Ferguson, and Henry Kissinger celebrate the 230th anniversary of the State Department. 

Featured

Make Central America Great Again

by George P. Shultz, Pedro Aspevia The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

To stanch the flow of illegal aliens, pour U.S. foreign aid into improving their home countries.

Interviews

Secretary George Shultz: Thinking About the Future

interview with George P. Shultzvia Commonwealth Club
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow George Shultz discusses his newest book, Thinking About the Future.

In the News

Secretary George Shultz: Thinking About The Future

featuring George P. Shultzvia Commonwealth Club
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

In a rich and varied career that has included roles as U.S. secretary of state, secretary of the treasury and secretary of labor, George P. Shultz has aided presidents, confronted national and international crises, and argued passionately that the United States has a vital stake in promoting democratic values and institutions. In speeches, articles, congressional testimony and conversations with world leaders, he has helped shape policy and public opinion on topics such as technology, terrorism, drugs and climate change. The result is a body of work that has influenced the decisions of nations and leaders and impacted the lives of ordinary people.

George Shultz
In the News

Secretary George Shultz: Thinking About The Future

featuring George P. Shultzvia Commonwealth Club
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

George P. Shultz sits down for a conversation with Dr. Gloria Duffy at the San Francisco Marines’ Memorial Theatre on Tuesday, June 4 at 12:00 PM.

In the News

Secretary George Shultz: Thinking About The Future

featuring George P. Shultzvia Commonwealth Club
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

In a rich and varied career that has included roles as U.S. secretary of state, secretary of the treasury and secretary of labor, George P. Shultz has aided presidents, confronted national and international crises, and argued passionately that the United States has a vital stake in promoting democratic values and institutions. In speeches, articles, congressional testimony and conversations with world leaders, he has helped shape policy and public opinion on topics such as technology, terrorism, drugs and climate change. The result is a body of work that has influenced the decisions of nations and leaders and impacted the lives of ordinary people.

Thinking about the Future

by George P. Shultzvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

In a rich and varied career, George P. Shultz has aided presidents, confronted national and international crises, and argued passionately that the United States has a vital stake in promoting democratic values and institutions. In speeches, articles, congressional testimony, and conversations with world leaders, he has helped shape policy and public opinion on topics ranging from technology and terrorism to drugs and climate change. The result is a body of work that has influenced the decisions of nations and leaders, as well as the lives of ordinary people.

In the News

George Shultz Explores The Future, Offers Solutions To Contemporary Problems

featuring George P. Shultzvia Stanford News
Thursday, May 16, 2019

In his new Hoover Institution Press book, Thinking About the Future, George Shultz reflects on more than half a century of public service to offer solutions to some of America’s most pressing contemporary problems.

In the News

Panel Addresses Demographics, Technology And Challenges In The Middle East

featuring Abbas Milani, George P. Shultz, Arye Carmon, Hoover Institutionvia The Stanford Daily
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz convened the ninth installment of his panel series “Governance in an Emerging World” on Monday by underscoring the importance of the Middle East in what he called “a globe on a hinge of history.” The afternoon’s discussion centered around changing demographics throughout the region, the roles of technology within government and society and challenges for the Middle East to overcome in the future.

Featured

Hoover Panelists Address Prosperity In The Last 100 Years

featuring George P. Shultz, Terry Anderson, John F. Cogan, Lee Ohanian, Peter M. Robinson, Hoover Institutionvia Stanford Daily
Thursday, April 18, 2019

“If students here could take anything away from this right now — you have no idea how much us old guys up here suffered to make your lives better,” Peter M. Robinson said, as the audience broke into laughter. Robinson’s lighthearted sentiment echoed the more serious issues of standards of living and sustained financial prosperity addressed in the Hoover Institution’s panel discussion on Thursday, the second in a three-part centennial speaker series, A Century of Ideas for a Free Society.

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