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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Recent Commentary

In the News

George Shultz: The Hoover Institution and Nuclear Freedom

by George P. Shultzvia ForaTv
Friday, June 27, 2008

George P. Shultz comments on the philosophy of the Hoover Institution in getting involved in conferences around the world which seek to advance the idea of a world free of nuclear weapons...

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Implications of the Reykjavik Summit on Its Twentieth Anniversary: Conference Report

via Hoover Institution Press
Monday, June 16, 2008

At their October 1986 meeting in Reykjavik, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev agreed on the need to eliminate nuclear weapons. That historic meeting ultimately led to the end of the cold war.

Defusing the Bomb Culture

by George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, Sam Nunnvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, April 17, 2008

The growing effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. By George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, and Sam Nunn.

Putting Our House in Order: A Guide to Social Security and Health Care Reform

Putting Our House in Order: A Guide to Social Security and Health Care Reform

by George P. Shultz, John Shovenvia W. W. Norton & Company
Thursday, April 17, 2008

Of all the issues swirling around the 2008 election, the staggering projected costs for the upkeep of America's largest entitlement programs—Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—loom with gathering intensity.

George P. Shultz

Shultz on Nukes — Then & Now

by Peter M. Robinsonwith George P. Shultzvia Uncommon Knowledge
Monday, March 24, 2008

George Shultz, writing with Henry Kissinger and others in the Wall Street Journal late last year, asserted that “nuclear weapons were essential to maintaining international security during the Cold War. …But reliance on nuclear weapons for [the purpose of deterrence] is becoming increasingly hazardous and decreasingly effective,…The world is now on the precipice of a new and dangerous nuclear era.” What made nuclear weapons acceptable then, and so unacceptable today? In answering these questions Shultz addresses the difficult challenges the United States faces as it seeks to curb the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran, and the threat represented by non-nation state actors: the nightmare scenario of a nuclear suitcase bomb detonating in a major American city. (32:06) Video transcript

Analysis and Commentary

Primary Views - George P. Shultz

by George P. Shultzvia San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, February 3, 2008

The next president of the United States must be prepared from day one of assuming the office to address the many complex national security issues that confront the United States and our allies...

On the Horizon, a Climate Consensus

by George P. Shultzvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why not replace the Kyoto Protocol with something that really works? What we can learn from the Montreal Protocol on ozone, by one of the diplomats who drafted it. By George P. Shultz.

Analysis and Commentary

Toward a Nuclear-Free World

by George P. Shultz, William J. Perryvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The accelerating spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear know-how and nuclear material has brought us to a nuclear tipping point...

Analysis and Commentary

The silver lining in America’s subprime cloud

by John B. Taylor, George P. Shultzvia Financial Times
Monday, November 5, 2007

Turmoil in the US’s financial markets got the top billing in news reports about the recent meetings of the world’s leading international policymakers in Washington...

Getting to Zero: Part 1

with Philip Zelikow, George P. Shultz, Richard Perle, Henry A. Kissinger, Thomas Graham, Vladimir Dvorkin, Sergio Duarte, Graham Allisonvia Uncommon Knowledge
Thursday, October 25, 2007

Getting to Zero: Part 1, the sixth session from the Hoover Institution's Reykjavik Revisited: Steps Toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons featuring all participants. (57:11)


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