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

Featured

The Threat Of Nuclear War Is Still With Us

by George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Sam Nunnvia The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

[Subscription Required] The U.S., its allies and Russia are caught in a dangerous policy paralysis that could lead—most likely by mistake or miscalculation—to a military confrontation and potentially the use of nuclear weapons for the first time in nearly 74 years.

 

In the News

AIPAC’s Washington Conference Will Reflect American Support For Israel

quoting George P. Shultzvia Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (Israel)
Monday, March 25, 2019
The AIPAC Policy Conference opened in Washington on March 24, 2019, and the critical analyses and even editorial autopsies are describing the organization’s diminished influence, claiming that it parallels the drop in Israel’s popularity among Americans.
In the News

Is America A Gullible Superpower?

quoting George P. Shultzvia National Interest
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Cato Institute hosts a discussion with Christopher Preble, Ted Galen Carpenter and Jacob Heilbrunn on U.S. foreign policy.

Interviews

Secretary George P. Shultz: Is The Mueller Report Going To Have The Impact The Left Is Hoping For?

interview with George P. Shultzvia Lars Larson National Podcast
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow George Shultz discusses the threat of nuclear weapons and climate change, and what can be done to reduce those threats.

In the News

Who's Really To Blame For America’s Trade Deficit?

quoting George P. Shultz, Martin Feldsteinvia Barron's
Friday, March 8, 2019

Americans buy more than they produce. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, published on Wednesday, imports of goods and services from the rest of the world exceeded exports by $621 billion in 2018. The deficit in manufactured goods was worth more than $840 billion—a new all-time high.

Featured

Hoover Panel Talks Military Tech Innovation In U.S. And China

featuring Hoover Institution, Admiral Gary Roughead, George P. Shultzvia Stanford Daily
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Hoover Institution's “Governance in an Emerging New World” series, organized by former secretary of state George Shultz, has traversed different regions of the world to address the challenges of rapid development. Monday’s event, the seventh in the series, specifically focused on the state of military technological innovation in the United States and China, and addressed its implications for a changing strategic dynamic in the global sphere.

Observations From The Roundtable

Observations from the Roundtable: Emerging Technology And America’s National Security

by Admiral James O. Ellis Jr., George P. Shultzvia Governance In An Emerging New World
Monday, February 25, 2019

When looking at the security environment, we are reminded of President Reagan’s approach to dealing with a complex and dangerous world. The first order of business was to be realistic about the world around you. Then you had to be strong in all senses of the term—military, economically, politically, and in national spirit. Finally, as you went out into the world, you had to set your objectives—know what you want—and focus on that agenda. It was a wise, and ultimately successful approach.

Featured

Statement Backing Hoover Fellow And Stanford Professor’s Carbon Tax Proposal Garners Record-Setting Support From Economists

featuring George P. Shultzvia Stanford Daily
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A record-setting 3,333 economists, including 32 at Stanford, have signed a statement supporting a carbon tax proposal co-authored by Stanford Professor Emeritus and former Secretary of State George Shultz, the nonprofit Climate Leadership Council announced on Monday. The proposal would levy a tax on the production and use of carbon emissions that increases over time but remains revenue neutral; collected money would be returned to U.S. citizens in equal payments, so the government would spend none of the money.

In the News

Rearming Of The World With Lethal Weaponry

quoting George P. Shultzvia The Express Tribune
Monday, February 11, 2019
During his campaign for the presidency, Donald Trump had begun to suggest that his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama, had starved the country’s defense establishment of the resources it needed to bring in more people into uniform, give them training to operate in all kinds of situations, and provide them with the equipment they needed to deal with all kinds of emergencies.
Analysis and Commentary

Who Read What In 2018: Politics And Policy

by George P. Shultzvia The Wall Street Journal
Monday, December 10, 2018

[Subscription Required] Doris Kearns Goodwin has given us numerous books that stimulate the mind and inspire our imagination. Her latest, “Leadership: In Turbulent Times,” is no exception.

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