George Pratt Shultz

George Pratt Shultz

Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow, Stanford University


He majored in economics at Princeton University, where he received a B.A. degree in 1942. During World War II he joined the United States Marine Corps, served in the Pacific arena, and advanced to the rank of captain. Shultz resumed his academic career by enrolling at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1945. He earned his Ph.D. degree in 1949 within the program of industrial economics, specializing in the problems of labor relations, employment, and unemployment. Shultz stayed on at the university until 1957 to teach industrial relations. During this time period he began to serve on arbitration panels for labor-management conflicts, a role he was to enact many times over the next decade. He also served at the first of his many national government posts when he was appointed senior staff economist to President Dwight Eisenhower’s Council of Economic Advisors. In 1957 Shultz joined the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, where he also taught industrial relations. He became dean of the school in 1962. Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson appointed him to serve on several government task forces and committees related to labor-management and employment policies. President Richard Nixon named Shultz to the post of secretary of labor on December 11, 1968. After 18 months at the Labor Department, he accepted President Nixon’s appointment to become the first director of the Office of Management and Budget. In May 1972 Shultz again changed posts in the Nixon administration and was appointed secretary of the treasury. Shultz resigned from government service in March 1974 and entered the business community. He became an executive vice president of the Bechtel Corporation, an international construction and engineering firm based in San Francisco. He later became president and a director of the Bechtel Group, Inc. Nominated as the 60th secretary of state by President Ronald Reagan, Shultz was sworn in on July 16, 1982. As the nation’s major adviser and negotiator of international affairs, Shultz was intimately involved with the important problems of the world. He sought plans to end conflicts in the Middle East and in Central America and to deal with international terrorism. As a member of the president’s team, he supported a strong American defense program, including a space-based anti-missile defense system (the Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars). He guided U.S. arms limitation talks with the Soviet Union. A constant international traveller, he attended President Reagan’s meetings with Soviet leaders. His academic and labor arbitration background molded his approach to his work as secretary of state. He proved to be a thoughtful and careful operator and a firm believer in quiet diplomacy. He served as Secretary of State from 1982 to 1989, at which time he returned to the private sector as an educator (Stanford University’s Hoover Institute and Graduate School of Business) and writer. His entire cabinet service spanned over twelve years and covered four separate cabinet posts (Secretary of State, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Treasury, and Director of OMB.) He maintained a residence in Stanford, California.

Shultz was previously a member of Think Long California.

composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.