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 and Director of Domestic Policy Studies and Lecturer in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University.  Chen is also an Operating Partner at New Road Capital Partners, a private equity firm, and Counsel at the law firm of Arent Fox LLP. During the 2018 election cycle, he is Senior Adviser on Policy to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

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

He has advised four presidential campaigns, including as policy director of the Romney-Ryan campaign in 2012, where he 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.

Chen 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.  He is also a Senior Adviser to and member of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group, an Aspen Institute program, co-chaired by Hank Paulson and Erskine Bowles, that draws together a diverse range of distinguished leaders and thinkers to address significant structural challenges in the U.S. economy.

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 JournalThe New York Times, The Washington Post, 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.

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.

Chen serves in a variety of leadership roles in nonprofits and community-based organizations.  He is Chair of the Board of Directors of El Camino Hospital in the Silicon Valley, a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Democracy Fund, a Director of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP), and a member of the Advisory Board of the Partnership for the Future of Medicare. 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

Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: President Obama’s Revisionist History

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Town Hall Review
Thursday, September 13, 2018
President Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail last week, with a strident and wide-ranging rebuke of President Trump and Republicans. He was asking voters to remember “the good old days”—when he was in charge.
Featured

Medicare Reforms Both Parties Can Live With

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Caprettavia Politico
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Last year’s war on Capitol Hill over repealing Obamacare might suggest that when it comes to health care, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on anything. But we think that’s too simplistic.

Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: Another Bad Idea Coming Out of California

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall Review
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The liberal politicians in California are at it again. Their latest idea?  Legislation that would create “safe injection” sites in San Francisco, where addicts can be supervised while they abuse illicit substances like heroin.

Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: Hysterical Opposition To Kavanaugh

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall Review
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Some Democrats are hysterical over the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, but they couldn’t have picked a more reasonable and thoughtful jurist to get worked up about.
Featured

Yes, There’s Hope For Health Care Reform

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Caprettavia The New York Times
Friday, August 31, 2018

The political divide over the insurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act looks to be unbridgeable for now, but out of public view, Republicans and Democrats are quietly forging a consensus on an even more consequential aspect of medical care: improving its value for all Americans by increasing its quality and lowering its cost.

Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: Good News For All Americans

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall Review
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
The state of the U.S. economy is strong, and getting stronger. On Friday last week, government data showed that the gross domestic product, a measure of the goods and services produced in America, grew by over 4 percent last quarter. It’s the fastest rate of economic growth we’ve seen since 2014.
Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: An Alliance Worth Defending

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall Review
Monday, July 16, 2018

There’s been a lot of talk recently about whether NATO—an alliance started after World War II—is still relevant in today’s world.  The answer is a simple and unequivocal “yes.” It is.

Analysis and Commentary

Senator McConnell Deserves A Very Nice Thank You Note

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Thursday, July 5, 2018

President Trump will tell us next week who his pick will be to serve as the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. When he does so, he ought to send a thank you note to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: North Korean Summit A Significant Step On A Long Road

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall Review
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

President Trump’s historic summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un was a very significant step as the two leaders seek to bridge the wide chasm that has separated the two nations since the cessation of hostilities on the Korean Peninsula almost 65 years ago.

Analysis and Commentary

The President’s Prescription Plan: A Step In The Right Direction

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Monday, May 21, 2018

President Trump recently announced his plan to lower prescription drug costs. It’s a solid plan that strikes the delicate balance between promoting innovation with the need to ensure that consumers have access to the medicines they need at a price they can afford.

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