Lanhee J. Chen

David and Diane Steffy Fellow in American Public Policy Studies

Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D. is the David and Diane Steffy Fellow in American Public Policy Studies at the Hoover Institution and Director of Domestic Policy Studies and Lecturer in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University.  

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

He has advised numerous major campaigns, including four presidential efforts.  In 2012, he was policy director of the Romney-Ryan campaign, and served 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.  Chen also advised Senator Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential bid, served as Domestic Policy Director of Romney's 2008 campaign, and was a health policy adviser to the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in 2004.  During the 2014 and 2018 campaign cycles, Chen served as a Senior Adviser on Policy to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

In addition to his academic appointments, Chen is a Senior Counselor at the Brunswick Group, a global business advisory firm; an Operating Partner at New Road Capital Partners, where he helps to direct healthcare investments for the private equity firm’s current fund; and Chair of the Board of Directors at El Camino Hospital in the Silicon Valley.  He is also a Senior Adviser to and member of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group at the Aspen Institute.

From 2014 to 2018, Chen served 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.  He also served in the George W. Bush Administration as a senior official at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Chen’s writings have appeared in a variety of outlets, including The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.  He has been a CNN Political Commentator and provided political analysis and commentary on every other major television network.  Chen currently serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the Salem Media Group. 

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.” 

In 2017, Chen was the William E. Simon Visiting Professor in the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University.  At Stanford, he also serves on the Faculty Steering Committee of the Haas Center for Public Service, is an affiliate of the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies, and was 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.

Previously, Chen practiced law at two major law firms and was the Winnie Neubauer Visiting Fellow in Health Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Chen serves in a variety of leadership roles in nonprofits and community-based organizations.  He is a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Democracy Fund, a Director of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP), a member of the Advisory Board of the Partnership for the Future of Medicare, and a member of the Council of Scholars for the Better Medicare Alliance.  He is also a member of 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


Lanhee Chen: Debate Continues Over Reopening America's Schools, Safely Returning Students To Classrooms

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Fox News
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses opening schools this fall.

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The US Has A Lot To Learn From Taiwan's Covid Fight

by Lanhee J. Chenvia CNN
Friday, July 10, 2020

Public health professionals around the world have lauded Taiwan's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Along with nearby countries such as South Korea and Singapore, Taiwan has employed policy responses to Covid-19 that are worthy of emulation around the world.


Lanhee Chen Discusses The Trump Administration’s

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia The Michael Medved Show
Thursday, July 9, 2020
Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses the Trump Administration’s current agenda.

Mitt Romney And Lanhee Chen - Aspen Ideas Festival

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia The Aspen Institute
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses, with Utah Senator Mitt Romney, China’s rise both politically and economically. Romney shares his deep belief that the US can not stand alone in its drive to require China to play by the same rules as others across the world.

Analysis and Commentary

Coronavirus Aid Should Go Directly To The People

by Lanhee J. Chen, David Cranevia The Hill
Sunday, June 28, 2020

As federal policymakers consider future legislation to address the economic challenges created by COVID-19, they should take the shortest route possible to get aid to those who need it. Where possible, the assistance should go directly to affected individuals and businesses, rather than through the states. If it’s not feasible for the aid to be sent to recipients directly, states should be held accountable for ensuring that those in need are actually getting it.

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Lanhee Chen: Costly Hypocrisy From Our Public Health Officials

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Thursday, June 18, 2020

Public health officials across America have spent the last several months warning about the dangers of the coronavirus, and the need for us to stay at home, halt economic activity and avoid social interactions with our friends and neighbors.

Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: Costly Hypocrisy From Our Public Health Officials

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall Review
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Public health officials across America have spent the last several months warning about the dangers of the coronavirus, and the need for us to stay at home, halt economic activity and avoid social interactions with our friends and neighbors.

Lanhee Chen
In the News

Fox News Anchor Chris Wallace

mentioning Lanhee J. Chenvia Commonwealth Club
Friday, June 12, 2020
During his 16 years at Fox, veteran journalist Chris Wallace has covered almost every key political event and interviewed numerous U.S. and world leaders.
In the News

Congress Weighs Next Steps On WHO Relationship

quoting Lanhee J. Chenvia Roll Call (DC)
Friday, June 12, 2020

Lawmakers are considering new ways to approach the World Health Organization, as President Donald Trump’s intentions behind his threat to terminate the relationship remain unclear.


Public Health Officials & Rampant Hypocrisy. Lanhee Chen Talks To A&G.

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Armstrong & Getty
Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhaee Chen talks about the many failings of our public health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic.