George Pratt Shultz (born December 13, 1920) is an American economist, statesman, and businessman. During the Reagan administration he served as the U.S. Secretary of State from 1982 to 1989.
George Shultz was born in New York City, the only child of Margaret Lennox (née Pratt) and Birl Earl Shultz. He grew up in Englewood, New Jersey.
In 1938, Shultz graduated from the Loomis Chafee School in Windsor, Connecticut. He earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, at Princeton University majoring in economics with a minor in public and international affairs. His senior thesis examined the Tennessee Valley Authority’s effect on local agriculture. He graduated in 1942.
Shultz was on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, 1942–1945. He was an artillery officer, attaining the rank of Captain.
In 1949, Shultz earned a PhD degree in industrial economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He taught in both the MIT Department of Economics and the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1948 to 1957, with a leave of absence in 1955 to serve on President Dwight Eisenhower's Council of Economic Advisers as a senior staff economist.
In 1957, Shultz was appointed professor of industrial relations at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business. He was named dean of the Graduate School of Business in 1962.
Shultz’s government service began in the administration of President Richard Nixon. Nixon appointed Shultz as Secretary of Labor, where he served from 1969 to June 1970. He was then appointed by Nixon to head the Office of Management and Budget. He became Secretary of the Treasury in May 1972, serving until May 1974. During that period he also served as chairman of the Council on Economic Policy. As chairman of the East-West Trade Policy Committee, Shultz traveled to Moscow in 1973 and negotiated a series of trade protocols with the Soviet Union. He also represented the United States at the Tokyo meeting of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
In 1974, Shultz left government service to become president and director of Bechtel Group, where he remained until 1982. He rejoined the company in 1989 as a director and senior counselor, continuing in that capacity until 2006. While at Bechtel, he maintained his close ties with the academic world by joining the faculty of Stanford University on a part-time basis.
As the Reagan administration was forming, Shultz made it clear he wished to remain at Bechtel. He was asked and served as the Chairman of the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board. In June 1982, Alexander Haig stepped down as Secretary of State and Reagan called on Shultz to replace him. Shultz accepted and remained until the end of the administration
In January 1989, he rejoined Stanford University as the Jack Steele Parker Professor of International Economics at the Graduate School of Business and as a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution. George Shultz is currently the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Shultz is a member of the Board of Directors of Acuitus, Inc., Fremont Group, and Theranos, Inc. He is advisory council chair of the Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency at Stanford University, chair of the MIT Energy Initiative External Advisory Board, and chair of the Energy Task Force at the Hoover Institution.
He was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, on January 19, 1989. He also received the Seoul Peace Prize (1992), the Eisenhower Medal for Leadership and Service (2001), and the Reagan Distinguished American Award (2002). He is the recipient of 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 Service Training Center in Arlington, Virginia, was dedicated on May 29, 2002. Shultz was named a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association in 2005. He received the American Spirit Award from the National World War II Museum in 2006 and the Truman Medal for Economic Policy in 2007. He received the Rumford Prize from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2008 and the Commandant's Leadership Award from the Marine Corps–Law Enforcement Foundation in 2009.
Shultz’s publications are numerous. The most relevant for this collection is his memoir of his time during the Reagan administration, Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1993).
Shultz holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Columbia, Notre Dame, Loyola, Pennsylvania, Rochester, Princeton, Carnegie Mellon, City University of New York, Yeshiva, Northwestern, Technion, Tel Aviv, Weizmann Institute of Science, Baruch College of New York, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tbilisi State University in the Republic of Georgia, Keio University in Tokyo, Williams College, and