Lanhee J. Chen

David and Diane Steffy Fellow in American Public Policy Studies
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Biography: 

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

Healthcare warning
Analysis and Commentary

A Market-Based Contingency Plan For King V. Burwell

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Capretta, Yuval Levin, Ramesh Ponnuru, Joseph Antos, Thomas Miller, Avik Roy, Gail R. Wilensky, David Wilsonvia Health Affairs
Monday, June 15, 2015

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in the King v. Burwell case, Congress will have the opportunity to advance health care policies that expand consumer choice, increase coverage, deliver better value for the dollar, and allow state governments more say over health care policy.

GOP Image
Analysis and Commentary

Remember ‘Reconciliation’? The GOP Can Move An Agenda Without Democratic Support

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Caprettavia National Review
Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Congressional Republicans are engaged in an important internal discussion over how best to use the arcane procedural mechanism known as “budget reconciliation.” Making the right decision about how to employ reconciliation could be the difference between a successful start to a conservative policy revival, or a lost year.
 

Lanhee Chen
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Hoover fellow Lanhee J. Chen on the road ahead for Obamacare: speed bumps, massive potholes, or smooth sailing?

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Fellow Talks
Friday, May 8, 2015

The road ahead for Obamacare: speed bumps, massive potholes, or smooth sailing?

Hillary Clinton
Analysis and Commentary

Hillary Clinton: Three Big, Unanswered Questions From Democrat's Campaign Launch

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Fox News
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hillary Clinton launched her campaign for president over two weeks ago, and there remain three major unanswered questions about her latest bid for the presidency.

Analysis and Commentary

Why Not 50 Different Affordable Health-Care Plans?

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, March 12, 2015

An obscure provision in the ObamaCare law says states can enact more market-friendly reforms.

The Supreme Court
Analysis and Commentary

King vs. Burwell: GOP Should Seize Opportunity To Tackle Future Of America's Health Care

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Fox News
Wednesday, March 4, 2015

As the Supreme Court hears arguments in King v. Burwell, the case on the legality of ObamaCare’s subsidies, the Obama Administration and its allies are setting the stage to cast Republicans as the villain if the decision doesn’t go their way.

Analysis and Commentary

A Capsizing Disability-Insurance Program

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Trust-fund reserves will run out late next year. Obama’s solution is a bad idea, but reform is still needed.

California's "Comeback"

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The state’s sluggish economy continues to worry voters.

 
Analysis and Commentary

Let States Dare to Make Health-Care Mistakes

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Bloomberg
Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The death of Vermont’s effort to install single-payer health care is revealing -- and not only for what it says about the feasibility of such government-run systems in the U.S. It also shows conservatives a way forward if the Supreme Court voids broad swaths of the Affordable Care Act in 2015.

Analysis and Commentary

Lessons From The 1995 Strategy

by James C. Capretta, Lanhee J. Chenvia The Weekly Standard
Monday, December 1, 2014

The Republican victory in the midterm election was decisive. Now the victors must chart a sensible course for the next two years—one that demonstrates they can be trusted as America’s governing party and sets the table for 2016.

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