George Shultz receives U.S. Defense Department award

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter presents former Secretary of State George Shultz with the Innovators in Defense, Enterprise, Academia and Science (IDEAS) award during a campus ceremony May 11. (Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz/U.S. Department of Defense.)
U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter presents former Secretary of State George Shultz with the Innovators in Defense, Enterprise, Academia and Science (IDEAS) award during a campus ceremony May 11. (Photo by Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz/U.S. Department of Defense.)

GEORGE SHULTZ was recognized Wednesday for his “citizen-soldier” legacy in the defense and innovation fields.

U.S. Secretary of Defense ASHTON CARTER presented Shultz with this year’s 2016 Secretary of Defense IDEAS award, which stands for “innovators in defense, enterprise, academia and science.”

Shultz is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and is one of two individuals who have held four different federal cabinet posts. A former U.S. Marine who served in World War II, he also has worked as an economist, university professor and businessman.

Shultz received the IDEAS Award before an audience at the Lou Henry Hoover House, the residence of President JOHN HENNESSY. Carter described Shultz as a rare leader who understands American security policy and its connections to science and academia.

“From citizen-soldier to policy innovator, to academic and corporate leader, to Cabinet secretary – and during so many times of challenge and change – there are few citizens who have learned how to leverage all instruments of American power more effectively than George Shultz,” Carter said.

Now in its second year, the IDEAS Award is given to individuals who have built bridges between disciplines, between the private and public sector, and “broken down the silos that stifle the emergence of new ideas and approaches,” said Carter, who created the award.

During Shultz’s career in the federal government in the 1970s and 1980s, he served as the secretary of labor, director of the Office of Management and Budget, secretary of the Treasury, and as secretary of state.

Shultz, upon receiving the award, spoke about the importance of a collaborative spirit and nurturing strong personal relationships. “If you have a garden and want to see it flourish, you have to tend to it,” he said.

Also, military strength and diplomacy need to work in tandem, Shultz said. “With strength but without diplomacy, you will get your head handed to you,” he said.

As the U.S. secretary of state, Shultz played a key leadership role in winding down the Cold War between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. He attributed this to understanding the interplay of diplomacy and military positioning.

For example, when the U.S. placed Pershing II cruise missiles in Europe in 1983 during the Reagan administration, the move eventually convinced the Soviets to come to the nuclear bargaining table. Both superpowers later agreed to the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. Shultz was secretary of state during this period.

Hennessy noted Shultz’s “lifetime of achievement” and described him as an innovator and a statesman. He applauded Shultz’s focus on emerging issues, such as advocating further research and policy efforts to address climate change.

Last year, Carter presented the inaugural IDEAS Award to WILLIAM J. PERRY, a former U.S. defense secretary and Stanford professor emeritus of engineering who was in attendance at the Shultz event.

Perry said, “George was able to unify both diplomacy and defense in a way few people ever have. In defense and foreign policy, it is vital that you take the long view.”

‘Strategic perspective’

Carter said, “Whether here at Stanford, MIT or the University of Chicago, or deep in the bowels of Oak Ridge, at Los Alamos, or making our industrial systems and legendary ‘arsenals of democracy’ more efficient, George and so many of his peers helped lay the groundwork for America’s unprecedented rise.”

Carter added that Shultz “personified” a leader who had a “strategic perspective” and could see all the world’s moving parts. Shultz, he said, knew which “mix of foreign policy tools is best for a given situation.”

Above all, Carter said, Shultz was “grounded” in what was America’s best interests in light of the world’s complexity. He always had the unique ability to bring a diverse group of people to the negotiating table.