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.

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Recent Commentary

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Lands Held Under

by George P. Shultz, Pedro Aspevia Hoover Digest
Monday, January 20, 2020

Uncontrolled immigration happens when migrants try to escape poor, dangerous countries. If we make their homelands safer, more functional, and more prosperous, we can lessen everyone’s burden.

Featured

The Winning Conservative Climate Solution

by George P. Shultz, Ted Halsteadvia The Washington Post
Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Republican Party’s position on climate change is rapidly evolving, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) saying that we need conservative solutions and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) warning that the party ignores the issue at its own peril. Just Thursday, House Republican leadership, in its first policy conference of the year, presented a new climate strategy to GOP House members.

In the News

Japan's Top Diplomat Meets With Former U.S. Secretary Of State George Shultz

featuring George P. Shultzvia The Japan Times
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi met Monday with George Shultz, former U.S. secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan, ahead of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the revised Japan-U.S. security treaty.

Featured

Preview Of Chiang Ching-Kuo Diaries Held At Stanford University

featuring Hoover Institution, Hsiao-ting Lin, George P. Shultzvia Focus Taiwan
Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Stanford University's Hoover Institution on Tuesday offered a glimpse of the personal diaries of former Republic of China President Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), which will be open for public viewing beginning in February 2020.

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Uncommon Knowledge and the Hoover Institution Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

interview with George P. Shultzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, December 2, 2019

TRANSCRIPT ONLY

The Hoover Institution Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Uncommon Knowledge and the Hoover Institution Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

interview with George P. Shultzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, December 2, 2019

AUDIO ONLY

The Hoover Institution Commemorates the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

The 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
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Uncommon Knowledge And The Hoover Institution Commemorate The 30th Anniversary Of The Fall Of The Berlin Wall

interview with George P. Shultzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, December 2, 2019

The Hoover Institution Commemorates the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall.

Policy InsightsFeaturedEconomy

Environmental Policy Insight

by Terry Anderson, Admiral James O. Ellis Jr., David R. Henderson, John H. Cochrane, George P. Shultzvia PolicyEd
Thursday, November 14, 2019

Whether it is climate change, polluted oceans, or smoggy skies, we owe it to future generations—not to mention our current well-being—to improve our environment. But finding the right answer isn’t always easy. Some proposed solutions would have large negative effects on the economy. Other ideas sound good but don’t have a significant positive effect on the environment. How can we find the best solution?

In the News

Global Nuclear Policy Experts Discuss Emerging Technology, Nuclear Non-Proliferation

featuring George P. Shultz, Sam Nunn, Hoover Institutionvia Stanford Daily
Friday, November 8, 2019

“The risk of a nuclear weapon being used somewhere in the world is probably trending in the wrong direction,” said Ernie Moniz, former U.S. Secretary of Energy and co-chair of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit that works to prevent nuclear catastrophe. “[The issue of] preventing the spread of nuclear weapons is a very, very important and timely one.”

Policy BriefsFeatured

George P. Shultz On The Danger Of Empty Threats

by George P. Shultzvia PolicyEd
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Former Secretary of State and Hoover Distinguished Fellow George P. Shultz discusses the dangers of making empty threats.

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