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

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.

Analysis and Commentary

An Opportunity For The Senate

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Friday, May 19, 2017

The effort to repeal and replace Obamacare has now moved to the United States Senate, where our elected representatives have the important responsibility of improving upon the American Health Care Act—the reform legislation that passed the House a few weeks ago.

Analysis and Commentary

Tax Reform Is Long Overdue

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Monday, May 8, 2017

President Trump introduced a significant tax reform proposal that will dramatically lower the business tax rate, simplify the individual tax code, and cut tax rates for many American taxpayers.

Law, Healthcare, and Finance
Featured

The Battle To End Obamacare Is Just Getting Started

by Lanhee J. Chenvia CNN
Friday, May 5, 2017

President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan deserve significant credit for getting their alternative, the American Health Care Act, or AHCA, across the finish line. But the version of health reform that the Senate will send back in the coming weeks or months will likely look very different from the legislation the House passed Thursday. 

Analysis and Commentary

Time To Deliver

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Monday, April 24, 2017

It can be tempting to try to draw far-reaching conclusions about the 2018 midterm elections from the special election results in Georgia’s 6th congressional district, where Democrat Jon Ossoff came close to winning the 50 percent of the vote he needed to capture the longtime conservative seat. But those midterms are more than 19 months away and a whole lot can change between now and then.

Analysis and Commentary

GOP Gets A Lesson In The 6th: Better Work Out The Kinks In Its Unified Government

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

It can be tempting to try and draw far-reaching conclusions about the 2018 midterm elections from the special election results in Georgia's 6th congressional district, where Democrat Jon Ossoff came close to winning the 50% of the vote he needed to capture the longtime conservative seat.

Featured

How The GOP Could Nudge The Uninsured Toward Coverage

by James C. Capretta, Lanhee J. Chenvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Automatically enroll many Americans in no-premium, high-deductible policies unless they opt out.

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