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.

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Recent Commentary


Public Health Officials & Rampant Hypocrisy. Lanhee Chen Talks To A&G.

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Armstrong & Getty
Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhaee Chen talks about the many failings of our public health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Can Medicare For All Reduce The Cost Of Care?

by Lanhee J. Chenvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Medicare for All’s promised savings comes with costly side effects.


Lanhee Chen: Operating In A COVID-19 Environment: Practical Considerations As We Enter The Next Phase

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Brunswick Group
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses the clinical and societal response to the pandemic. As more states reopen, what will day-to-day life look like? How is health care inequality being addressed?


Lanhee Chen: Who Is WHO? COVID-19, Massachusetts, And The Unhealthy World Health Organization

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Ricochet
Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses the role that the World Health Organization (WHO) plays, what dysfunction may have contributed to the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what steps can be taken to bring back transparency and trust.


The Rampage Of The Public Health Officers. Lanhee Chen Talks To A&G

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Armstrong and Getty
Friday, May 29, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses the Trump Administration’s current agenda.

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

Lanhee Chen: China Steps Back On Promise To Hong Kong

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall Review
Friday, May 29, 2020

China has now moved to exert more control over Hong Kong, ending the special treatment that was guaranteed to it when the former British colony was turned over to Beijing’s control in 1997. At the time, China promised Hong Kong would be governed for 50 years under the principle of “one country, two systems.” In other words, Hong Kong would retain its own legal system and police force through 2047.

Analysis and Commentary

Lanhee Chen: The World Health Organization Desperately Needs Reform

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall Review
Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The World Health Organization botched its response to the novel coronavirus. It legitimized China’s early and misleading claims about the disease, which set back the initial response to the virus in other countries, including in the US


Lanhee Chen: Protesters In Hong Kong Gather To Oppose National Security Law

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia KCBS Radio: On-Demand
Sunday, May 24, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses a new national security law that spurred people in Hong Kong to protest being under China's rule and thus a degradation of rights in Hong Kong.

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Lanhee Chen: COVID-19 and the Politics of the World Health Organization | Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Hoover Podcasts
Thursday, May 21, 2020

Lanhee Chen discusses COVID-19 and the Politics of the World Health Organization.

Lanhee Chen: COVID-19 and the Politics of the World Health Organization

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Hoover Virtual Policy Briefings
Thursday, May 21, 2020

A Hoover Virtual Policy Briefing with Lanhee Chen: COVID-19 and the Politics of the World Health Organization  
Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 11AM PT/ 2PM ET.