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 Thinking about the Future (Hoover Institution Press, June 2019); 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.

Filter By:

Topic

Type

Recent Commentary

Blueprint for AmericaFeatured

Blueprint For America: The Art And Practice Of Governance

by George P. Shultzvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Managing governmental spending, guiding private enterprise, maintaining global alliances, and educating the next generation are America’s top priorities that have not changed over time. However, good governance is needed to sustain and realize these long-term goals.

In the News

Here’s How To Get Through To Red-State Americans On Climate Change

quoting General Jim Mattis, George P. Shultzvia The Washington Post
Friday, September 6, 2019

As hurricanes become more intense, flooding more common and wildfires more deadly, Americans — regardless of their party affiliation — are dying from extreme weather events and are seeing their livelihoods damaged. The searing experience of Hurricane Harvey in Texas in 2017 might not have prompted Republican politicians to fight “climate change," but perhaps they can have a rational conversation about “rising ocean levels.” 

Featured

We Cannot Win The War On Drugs By Obsessing Over Supply

by George P. Shultzvia The Financial Times
Friday, August 30, 2019

[Subscription Required] The news that Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $572m by the state of Oklahoma over its contribution to the US opioid crisis is just the latest skirmish in a seemingly never-ending war on drugs.

IntellectionsFeatured

Reorienting The War On Drugs

by George P. Shultzvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The United States’ policy of the “War on Drugs” has not effectively discouraged drug consumption.

 

Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

Why Here, Why Now? Why Did The United States Enjoy Dramatic Improvements In The Standard Of Living During The Last Century?

interview with John F. Cogan, Lee Ohanian, Terry Anderson, George P. Shultzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, August 26, 2019

Hoover Institution economists John Cogan, Lee Ohanian, Terry Anderson, and George Shultz examine the causes for and the reasons behind so many improvements being made to the quality of life in the United States over the past century. They analyze the role that free markets, property rights, innovation, regulation, taxes, and national security played in these remarkable achievements.

Uncommon Knowledge new logo 1400 x 1400
Blank Section (Placeholder)

Why Here, Why Now? Why Did The United States Enjoy Dramatic Improvements In The Standard Of Living During The Last Century?

interview with Terry Anderson, John F. Cogan, Lee Ohanian, George P. Shultzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, August 26, 2019

Hoover Institution economists John Cogan, Lee Ohanian, Terry Anderson, and George Shultz examine the causes for and the reasons behind so many improvements being made to the quality of life in the United States over the past century. They analyze the role that free markets, property rights, innovation, regulation, taxes, and national security played in these remarkable achievements.

Stanford Oval
In the News

George Shultz, Eight Former Student-Athletes Honored By Stanford Athletics Hall Of Fame

featuring George P. Shultzvia Stanford Daily
Saturday, August 24, 2019

Eight accomplished former student-athletes will be enshrined into the 2019 Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame Class, the athletics department announced on Monday. Former U.S. Secretary of State and long-time Cardinal fan, George Shultz will also be honored with a special recognition.

In the News

A New Nuclear Arms Race? How The U.S. Withdrawing From A Treaty With Russia Increases The Risk

quoting George P. Shultzvia America Magazine
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Trump administration ended nuclear arms control as we know it on Aug. 2, just a few days before the anniversaries of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. The Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty between the United States and the former Soviet Union, the withdrawal from which the United States first signaled last fall, was developed during the Reagan administration and signed by President Reagan in December 1987. It banned the deployment of ground-launched conventional and nuclear ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,400 miles).

In the News

George Shultz Among Those Honored By Stanford Athletics Hall Of Fame

featuring George P. Shultzvia Stanford News
Monday, August 19, 2019

Eight former Cardinal student-athletes have been elected to the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame. They are baseball’s Jeff Austin, volleyball’s Foluke Akinradewo, wrestling’s Tanner Gardner, tennis’ Susan Hagey Wall, basketball’s Mark Madsen, tennis’ Diane Morrison Shropshire, football’s Bill Tarr and gymnastics’ Tabitha Yim.

Analysis and Commentary

It’s Time For Truth In State And Local Government Finances

by George P. Shultz, David Cranevia San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, August 16, 2019

Imagine your business could treat borrowings as revenues, avoid cost recognition by not paying expenses and report less debt than actually owed. Fortunately, accounting for private-sector enterprises doesn’t enable such activities. But accounting for state and local governments does, and with big consequences.

Pages

The Governance Project