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 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.

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George Pratt Shultz
In the News

‘Be Tough’: George Shultz Talks Bipartisanship, International Tensions In Hoover Policy Webinar

featuring George P. Shultzvia Stanford Daily
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Reflecting on a 20-year career in public office under presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, former Secretary of State George P. Shultz cautioned against today’s polarizing political landscape, remembering instead his efforts to maintain relationships with both international and domestic opposing groups in a virtual webinar organized by the Hoover Institution on Tuesday.
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George P. Shultz: Learning From Experience | Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing

interview with George P. Shultzvia Hoover Podcasts
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

George P. Shultz Discusses Learning From Experience

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George P. Shultz: Learning From Experience

interview with George P. Shultzvia Hoover Virtual Policy Briefings
Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing with George P. Shultz: Learning From Experience 
Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at 11AM PT/ 2PM ET.

George Shultz

Now That Woodrow Must Go, Here’s Princeton’s Replacement

by Bill Whalen featuring George P. Shultzvia Forbes
Sunday, June 28, 2020

Thanks to this summer’s surge in political correctness, “Old Nassau” has revisited an old problem: what do with the legacy of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United States and, from 1902-1910, Princeton University’s 13th president.


A Real Market In Medical Care? Singapore Shows The Way

by George P. Shultz, Vidar Jorgensenvia The Wall Street Journal
Monday, June 15, 2020

Some American companies have embraced elements of it, such as price transparency and HSAs.


Remdesivir Affirms The American Way

by John F. Cogan, George P. Shultzvia The Wall Street Journal
Friday, May 1, 2020

Gilead Sciences failed for years to prove its efficacy, but patent law and markets helped it to persevere.


George Shultz And John Taylor Discuss Economic Policy Lessons

interview with John B. Taylor, George P. Shultzvia Stanford News
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Hoover Institution fellows George Shultz and John Taylor discuss the economic choices facing policymakers today based on their experiences at the highest levels of policymaking in the White House; the reasons behind the Nixon administration’s decision to impose national limits on wages and prices in the 1970s; and how the Reagan administration changed course and adopted free-market-oriented policies in the 1980s.


The Strategic Case For U.S. Climate Leadership

by James Baker III, George P. Shultz, Ted Halsteadvia Foreign Affairs
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

How Americans Can Win With a Pro-Market Solution.

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Lessons From Crises Past

by George P. Shultz, Michael J. Boskin, John B. Taylorvia Project Syndicate
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Government policies restricting the operation of markets usually do more harm than good. Even in times of crisis, such as the current coronavirus pandemic, policymakers should do everything possible to keep markets working and private incentives strong.

FeaturedNational Security

George Shultz: Why This Centenarian Statesman Is Hopeful – But Cautious – About The Future

interview with George P. Shultzvia The Christian Science Monitor
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow George Shultz talks about the state of the world and emphasizes that the world stands at a turning point that will require every bit of the leadership and determination that got mankind through the 20th century.


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