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.

Filter By:



Recent Commentary


Social Capital On Capitol Hill: Hugh Hewitt With Lanhee Chen

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses and explains social capital and the Social Capital Summit.


Lanhee Chen: 2020 Democrat Hopefuls Booed At California Convention For Criticizing Socialism, 'Medicare For All'

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Fox News
Monday, June 3, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses whether moderate Democrats should be concerned by the reception given to John Hickenlooper and John Delaney.


Lanhee Chen: Trump Sees Immigration As Top Political Issue

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Bloomberg
Sunday, June 2, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses President Trump's trade, immigration, and policies.


Lanhee Chen: 'This Week' Roundtable: Next Phase Of Democratic Primary, Impeachment Debate, Tariff Battles

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Real Clear Politics
Sunday, June 2, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen joins a panel discussion concerning the Democratic primary and which candidates they think will make it to the June debate stage, as well as impeachment, tariffs, and much more.

Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: A Rare Glimpse Of Bipartisanship

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall Review
Friday, May 31, 2019
Despite all of the partisan rancor in Congress, there is remarkable bipartisan agreement on the need to deal with the challenge of smoking and tobacco use amongst young Americans.
Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: The Leftward Lurch Continues

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall Review
Friday, May 17, 2019
The leftward lurch of the Democratic contenders for the presidency continues. The latest idea? California Senator Kamala Harris has called for repeal of the Trump tax cuts. Not some of them. Or just the “tax cuts for the rich.” But all of them.

Lanhee Chen: Would Trump’s Immigration Plan Help The US Economy?

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Fox News
Thursday, May 16, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses how President Trump's immigration plan may affect the US economy.


Lanhee J. Chen: Week In Politics: China-U.S. Trade War, Dems Declare ‘Constitutional Crisis’ And More

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia KPCC 89.3 (Southern California)
Monday, May 13, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen talks about the US-China trade war, the Mueller Report, President Trump's taxes, North Korea, the 2020 US Presidential candidates, and more.


Lanhee Chen: Joe Biden Looks To Win Over Blue-Collar Voters Ahead Of 2020

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Yahoo Finance
Monday, April 29, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses former Vice President Joe Biden’s potential political strategy for 2020.

Analysis and Commentary

Russian Meddling And The Mueller Report

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Monday, April 29, 2019

While Democrats and Republicans argue over what to make of the Mueller Report, one thing is abundantly clear from its hundreds of pages: Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election should not have come as a surprise to anyone—let alone President Obama and others in his administration who were asleep at the switch when it happened.