Lanhee J. Chen

David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow
Research Team: 
Biography: 

Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D. is the David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution; Director of Domestic Policy Studies and Lecturer in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University; and an affiliate of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.  He is also a Counsel at the law firm of Arent Fox LLP.

A veteran of several high-profile political campaigns, Chen has worked in government, the private sector, and academia. 

Most recently, Chen was an adviser to Senator Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign.  In 2012, he was the policy director for the Romney-Ryan presidential campaign, as well as Governor Mitt Romney’s chief policy adviser; a senior strategist on the campaign; and the person responsible for developing the campaign’s domestic and foreign policy. He advised Romney on every major public policy challenge facing the United States and worked with a variety of stakeholders, including the congressional leadership, industry and business interests, and policy experts, to shape the campaign’s issues agenda.

In 2014, Chen was the Senior Adviser on Policy to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).  He was the deputy campaign manager and policy director of Steve Poizner’s 2010 California gubernatorial campaign, the domestic policy director of Governor Romney’s first presidential bid in 2008, and a health policy adviser to the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in 2004.

Chen currently serves as a presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed member of the Social Security Advisory Board—an independent, bipartisan panel that advises the president, Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security on matters related to the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs.

Chen was honored in 2015 as one of the POLITICO 50, a list of the “thinkers, doers, and visionaries transforming American politics.”  He earned a similar honor in 2012 when he was named one of POLITICO’s “50 Politicos to Watch.” 

Chen’s writings have appeared in a variety of outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and Bloomberg View.  He has been a CNN Political Commentator and provided political analysis and commentary on nearly every other major television network.  Chen is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Salem Media Group. 

In the Bush administration, Chen was a senior official at the US Department of Health and Human Services. His private-sector experience includes having been an associate attorney with the international law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where he practiced business litigation. Chen was also the Winnie Neubauer Visiting Fellow in Health Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation and worked as a health policy advocate for a major business group in Washington, DC.

At Stanford, Chen serves as a member of the Faculty Steering Committee at the Haas Center for Public Service.  He has also been Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School.  An eight-time winner of Harvard University’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Chen’s scholarship has appeared or been cited in several of the nation’s top political science journals.

Chen frequently provides advice to companies and governmental entities on a wide range of contemporary public policy issues and is the founder and president of Launch Policy Strategies, a strategic consulting company.  He is also a member of both the International Advisory Council and the Health Advisory Board at APCO Worldwide, an international public affairs and communications firm.

Chen also serves in a variety of leadership roles in nonprofits and community-based organizations.  He is a Director of El Camino Hospital in the Silicon Valley, serves on the Board of Trustees of the Junior Statesmen Foundation and is on the Advisory Board of the Partnership for the Future of Medicare. Chen was recently elected to membership in the Committee of 100, an organization of prominent Chinese Americans.

Chen earned his Ph.D. and A.M. in political science from Harvard University, his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, and his A.B. magna cum laude in government from Harvard College. He is a member of the State Bar of California.

A native of Rowland Heights, California, he currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and children.

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Recent Commentary

Featured

To Fix Health Care, Look To State Governors

by Lanhee J. Chenvia CNN
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The recent collapse of Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare can be blamed on disagreements about policy more than anything else. For seven years, Republicans at all levels of government were able to articulate the simple message that President Barack Obama's signature health care law had to go, and a set of better, market-based policies needed to replace it.

Featured

Obamacare Enshrined

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Over seven years ago, Democrats in Congress joined President Obama to create a massive expansion of Washington’s role in our health care system. And in the time since then, we’ve witnessed the many ways in which Obamacare has hurt the American health system.

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The Drug Marketplace at Work

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 7, 2017

Competition already lowers the price of drugs—and it works better than price fixing ever could. 

Analysis and Commentary

The Terror Threat Is Real

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Monday, June 26, 2017

In the last week alone, terrorists have attacked or attempted to attack targets in European nations we call allies and friends. One of the main railway stations in Brussels, Belgium was targeted. So too were innocent civilians on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Law, Healthcare, and Finance
Featured

Health-Reform Principles That Can Cross Party Lines

by Lanhee J. Chen, Ron Pollackvia Wall Street Journal
Sunday, June 25, 2017

Experts don’t always agree—but eight of us found common ground despite our other differences.

Analysis and Commentary

Karen Handel’s Victory

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Republican Karen Handel’s victory in the special election in Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District will generate a lot of punditry and spin.

Analysis and Commentary

Americans

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Thursday, June 15, 2017

As Americans, we are drawn together by so much more than what divides us. We have a common sense of purpose and destiny. And we wake up each day knowing how blessed we are to live in this remarkable country.

Analysis and Commentary

Single-Payer For The Golden State?

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The California State Senate recently passed legislation creating a government-run, single-payer health care system in the Golden State. The idea is so bad that even Governor Jerry Brown has expressed concerns about it.

Analysis and Commentary

The Senate Should Build Automatic Enrollment Into Health Reform. Here’s How.

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Caprettavia Health Affairs
Monday, June 5, 2017

As the discussion over the future of health reform continues in the United States Senate, some Republicans are looking for ways to boost coverage levels, help stabilize insurance markets, and lower health costs. For years, the U.S. has had insurance enrollment levels below what was possible because of lower than desirable take-up of existing options.

Featured

For GOP, Health Care Is A Marathon

by Lanhee J. Chenvia CNN
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The latest Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the American Health Care Act passed by the House of Representatives suggests that Republicans in the Senate have some work to do -- but should focus on distinct opportunities as well -- as they seek to repeal and replace Obamacare.

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