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

How to Build on the Start Treaty

by George P. Shultzvia Advancing a Free Society
Saturday, April 10, 2010

By William J. Perry and George P. Shultz

Analysis and Commentary

Statement by George Shultz, William Perry, Henry Kissinger, and Sam Nunn on START Follow-On Treaty

by William J. Perry, George P. Shultzvia Nuclear Security Project
Friday, March 26, 2010

The four of us have expressed our belief that the potential use of nuclear weapons is one of the gravest dangers the world faces and have expressed our support for moving toward a world without nuclear weapons. . . .

Ending Government Bailouts As We Know Them image cover
Books

Ending Government Bailouts As We Know Them

by Nicholas F. Brady, Darrell Duffie, Joseph A. Grundfest, Richard J. Herring, Thomas M. Hoenig, Thomas Jackson, William F. Kroener III, Charles S. Morris, Kenneth E. Scott, George P. Shultz, Kenneth Spong, Johannes Stroebel, Kimberly Anne Summe, John B. Taylor, Paul Volckervia Hoover Institution Press
Monday, March 15, 2010

The American people are clearly upset about the massive government bailouts of faltering organizations and the consequent commitment of taxpayer dollars-as well as the heavy involvement of the federal government in private sector activities.

Analysis and Commentary

Letters: Congress Should Implement the Volcker Rule for Banks

by George P. Shultzvia Wall Street Journal
Sunday, February 21, 2010

We who have served as secretary of the Treasury in both Republican and Democratic administrations write in support of the proposed legislation to prohibit certain proprietary activities of commercial banking organizations—the so-called Volcker rule, as part of needed financial reform ("It's Time for Financial Reform Plan C," by Alan Blinder, op-ed, Feb. 16). . . .

Analysis and Commentary

Letter: Providing for the Common Defense: A Call to Restore Funding to U.S. Missile Defense

by George P. Shultz, James Woolsey with Edwin Meese III, Peter Schweizervia Committee on the Present Danger
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Editor’s note: The following is the text of a letter sent by the Committee on the Present Danger to President Obama, members of the Senate and members of the House regarding critical changes to America’s missile defense that will likely threaten American safety and security. . . .

Analysis and Commentary

How to Protect Our Nuclear Deterrent

by William J. Perry, George P. Shultz with William J. Perryvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Maintaining confidence in our nuclear arsenal is necessary as the number of weapons goes down. . . .

The Road Ahead for the Fed
Books

The Road Ahead for the Fed

by George P. Shultz, Allan H. Meltzer, Peter R. Fisher, Donald L. Kohn, James D. Hamilton, John B. Taylor, Myron S. Scholes, Darrell Duffie, Andrew Crockett, Michael J. Halloran, Richard J. Herring, John D. Ciorciarivia Hoover Press
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Federal Reserve is the single most important economic policy institution in the United States. Its recent unprecedented actions and interventions have raised serious concerns in many quarters about inflation, as well as the independence and effectiveness of the Fed.

The Power of the Ought

by George P. Shultzvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 9, 2009

Having a vision for the future—and being held accountable for it. By George P. Shultz.

Analysis and Commentary

The nuclear tipping point

by George P. Shultzvia Guardian (UK)
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The potential spread of nuclear weapons to states and terrorists, the spread of nuclear technology and know-how and the residual nuclear threat from the cold war have brought us to the precipice of a new and dangerous nuclear era...

A Health Care Plan for California

by John F. Cogan, George P. Shultzvia Analysis
Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our objective is to make health care in California more affordable and more accessible. There is virtual universal access now, but it is carried out in emergency rooms, which take all comers. Such an undesirable method not only heavily burdens emergency rooms but means that many people wind up without care because they do not have an organized way of obtaining it.

Pages

The Governance Project