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

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).

Chen is currently an Operating Partner at New Road Capital Partners, a private equity firm, where he helps to direct healthcare investments for the firm’s latest fund.  He is also a Senior Counselor at the Brunswick Group, a global business advisory firm.

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 is currently 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), 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

Analysis and Commentary

Medicare-For-All Myths

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Bernie Sanders and his lefty friends are at it again. He’s reintroduced legislation to create a socialist-style takeover of our health care called Medicare-for-all. Make no mistake: It would do just as much damage to our health care as would previous efforts to install a single-payer system. 

Interviews

Lanhee Chen On AirTalk

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia KPCC 89.3 (Southern California)
Monday, April 15, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses the release of the Mueller report, placing undocumented immigrants in sanctuary cities, Rep. Ilhan Omar's comments, and other political events and issues.

In the News

Mar-A-Lago Spy Probe Underscores Chinese-American Racial Profiling Dilemma

quoting Lanhee J. Chenvia Forbes
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The front-page headline of the New York Post on Wednesday blared suspicion that a China national caught at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last week is a spy: “Revealed: Secret spy gear stash of Chinese woman who conned way into Trump club.”

Interviews

Lanhee Chen: The Tricky Line Joe Biden Faces If He Enters

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia MSNBC
Monday, April 8, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen joins a panel to talk about recent allegations against Joe Biden, President Obama's remarks about 'rigidity' among liberal Democrats, and Bernie Sanders.

Interviews

Lanhee Chen On 'This Week' Roundtable: Biden's Struggle, Trump Punts Healthcare To 2020, Democratic Primary Debates Big Ideas

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, April 7, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen joins a panel to discuss Joe Biden, health care, and the Democratic Primary debates and ideas.

Interviews

Lanhee Chen: Watch Five Experts Break Down The March Jobs Report (2:05)

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia CNBC
Friday, April 5, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses the health care sector adding jobs as well as non-farm payrolls expanding by 196,000 and the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.8%

Interviews

US Health Care Checkup With Lanhee Chen: What's Broken And Needs To Be Fixed?

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Fox News
Friday, April 5, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen explains what needs to be done to make the health care system work for everyone.

Interviews

Lanhee Chen: The Challenge For The Dems Following The Mueller Report

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Armstrong and Getty
Thursday, April 4, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen talks about the release of the Mueller Report and whether the end of the investigation really changed the attitude of those entrenched in their own political beliefs.

Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: School of Hard Knox

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Crossing Lines with Lanhee Chen
Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen is joined by Olivier Knox, the Chief Washington Correspondent for SiriusXM radio and current president of the White House Correspondents Association. They talk about the state of the media, what to expect as they cover the 2020 campaign, and how to restore public trust in the institution. Chen also provides his thoughts on whether Joe Biden is doomed already, and where Republicans are on the tricky topic of health care reform.

Analysis and Commentary

After Mueller: A Look At The 2020 Election

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Thursday, March 28, 2019

President Trump faces a much clearer pathway to reelection in 2020 now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s found no evidence that the President or the Trump campaign colluded with Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

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