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


Lanhee Chen: What Concessions Are The North Koreans Willing To Make?

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Yahoo Finance
Monday, July 1, 2019

(1:15) Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses President Trump's negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


Biden Out Of Step, Out Of Touch. Lanhee Chen Talks To Armstrong & Getty

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Armstrong and Getty
Friday, June 28, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen talks about the Democrats' second debate, explaining why both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are in trouble.


Lanhee Chen: Politics Heading Into 2020: Live From Aspen!

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Kaiser Health News (KHN)
Monday, June 24, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses health care and the price of prescription drugs.


Crossing Lines With Lanhee Chen: The Deputy Is In!

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Crossing Lines with Lanhee Chen
Monday, June 24, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen talks with Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, Eric Hargan, about the Trump Administration’s health care policy initiatives and the coming debate over Medicare for All.


Lanhee Chen On Week In Politics: ICE Raids, Escalation With Iran, Buttigieg’s Tense Town Hall And More

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Southern California Public Radio
Monday, June 24, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses immigration, Iran, Joe Biden's comments about working across the isle, and much more.


Lanhee Chen: 'Meet The Press' Roundtable: President Trump "Likes To Create A Crisis"

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, June 23, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses President Trump's leadership.

Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution Collection, Box 2, Hoover Institution Archives
Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: Standing For Liberty In Hong Kong

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall Review
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The free world recently mourned the 30th anniversary of China’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protestors in Tiananmen Square. Although the dreams of a freer, more open China were crushed in June 1989, today in Hong Kong the voices of freedom are again speaking out against tyranny. Hong Kong’s civil liberties and autonomy are at risk.


Lanhee Chen: Hongkongers Want That Promise To Last 50 Years

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Bloomberg
Sunday, June 16, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses Hong Kong.


Lanhee Chen: China Isn't Just A Trade Story It's A National Security Story

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Fox Business
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses the mounting US trade tensions and security issues with China.


Lanhee Chen: Watch An Expert Explain The Implications Of Trump’s Trade Tactics

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia CNBC
Thursday, June 6, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen talks about the President Trump's trade negotiation tactics with China and Mexico.