Lanhee J. Chen

David and Diane Steffy Fellow in American Public Policy Studies
Research Team: 

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

Analysis and Commentary

Immigration Reform: Tricky Issues Remain In the Battle Over Comprehensive Immigration Reform

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Advancing a Free Society
Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tricky Issues Remain In the Battle Over Comprehensive Immigration Reform

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Immigration Reform
Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Senate voted on June 11 to proceed with debate on comprehensive immigration reform legislation.  While the bill cleared a major hurdle, its fate still very much hangs in the balance.  Majority Leader Harry Reid has suggested that he’d like to see the Senate act on the legi

Analysis and Commentary

The Immigration Issue Republicans Must Address

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Bloomberg View
Monday, May 27, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

How Republicans Can Win Over Asian-Americans

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Bloomberg News
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

How Obamacare Will Distort the Health-Care Market

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Bloomberg News
Monday, April 8, 2013
Lanhee Chen bio photo

Hoover fellow Chen talks with America Now’s Andy Dean

by Lanhee J. Chenvia America Now with Andy Dean
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lanhee Chen, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution who also teaches in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University, discusses the recent presidential election, including why Romney lost. Chen also weighs in on bipartisanship and how both parties can work together to resolve big issues affecting the United States.

Analysis and Commentary

How Changes to Obamacare Can Cut the Deficit

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Bloomberg News
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

Obama, GOP Need to Act Faster When They Agree

by Lanhee J. Chenvia USA Today
Monday, March 11, 2013
Analysis and Commentary

What Obama Isn’t Telling You About Sequestration

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Bloomberg News
Thursday, February 28, 2013