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 Health in Northern California. He is also a 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 affiliated faculty member of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at 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 Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 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 Chair of the Policy Advisory Board of Free the Facts, a policy education group; 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.

Filter By:



Recent Commentary


Lanhee Chen: Can Virtual Political Conventions Succeed? A Campaign Veteran Weighs In

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Yahoo News
Monday, August 17, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses the Democrat's and Republican's conventions and how will they will communicate their messages virtually.


The Public Option's True Cost

by Lanhee J. Chenvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The public option promises to lower health insurance premiums without increasing federal spending, but Congress has broken similar promises on many occasions.

“Public Option” Dead End

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Joe Biden’s health plan would bring higher taxes for most Americans and turbulence to the insurance market.

Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: We Need Patient-Centered Health Care Reform

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall Review
Monday, August 3, 2020

President Trump needs to tell the American people how he plans to fix our health care system if he wants to win reelection. It’s an issue that many Americans care deeply about, and one that the President and Republicans should not be afraid to address.


Lanhee Chen On 'Fox News Sunday' Panel: Are Elections Secure? Biden's Running Mate, COVID Stimulus Debate

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen joins a panel to discuss whether US elections are secure, mail-in voting, Biden's running mate, and the COVID-19 stimulus issues.


US Entitlement Reform Is Urgently Needed

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Financial Times
Wednesday, July 29, 2020

[Subscription required] Trust funds for Social Security and Medicare are running dry because of the pandemic.

Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: A Clear-Eyed View Of China

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall Review
Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a major speech last week, outlining a new approach to dealing with China. For many years, American policymakers have assumed that as China became more prosperous, it would become freer, more open and a responsible member of the international community.


Lanhee Chen: Congress Tries To Come Together On New Stimulus Bill

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Bloomberg
Monday, July 27, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses the latest stimulus bill.


Lanhee Chen: Politicizing Going Back To School: Kevin Mccullough With Lanhee Chen

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Friday, July 24, 2020
Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses how to get our children safely back in school amidst the coronavirus.

Lanhee Chen: Trump Administration Orders China To Close Consulate In Houston

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia KCBS (CA)
Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses President Trump ordering China to close their consulate in Houston.