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 On Face The Nation

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Face the Nation (CBS)
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses the shortcomings of the WHO's handling of the coronavirus.


Lanhee Chen On Bloomberg: Balance Of Power

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Bloomberg
Monday, May 11, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses his Washington Post article "Here’s how college students can return to campus in the fall."

FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

Here’s How College Students Can Return To Campus In The Fall

by Lanhee J. Chenvia The Washington Post
Friday, May 8, 2020

For some colleges and universities, the decision to bring back in-person research and instruction this fall is a matter of basic economic survival. But even where it is not, the pandemic crisis threatens the essence of college life. No distance-learning program, regardless of how well thought-out or planned it is, can replace the interactions among students, faculty and others that normally take place on college campuses.

hoover taiwan
Blank Section (Placeholder)Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

A Panel Discussion: Taiwan And The COVID-19 Pandemic - Lessons For The World

interview with Dr. Jason Wang, Prof. Chang Wen-Chen, Prof. Fan Yun, Lanhee J. Chenvia Hoover Podcasts
Thursday, May 7, 2020

A panel discussion of the public health, rule of law, civil society and global policy dimensions of Taiwan’s response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring Dr. Jason Wang, Prof. Chang Wen-Chen, Prof. Fan Yun, and Lanhee Chen Ph.D. Moderated by Glenn Tiffert Ph.D.


Lanhee J. Chen - The World Should Consider Copying Taiwan's Policy Interventions

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia The Lars Larson Show
Thursday, May 7, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses using Taiwan's COVID-19 interventions  as a model for the US, for fighting possible future pandemics.


Lanhee Chen On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses his Townhall piece "The Schools: A Key to America’s Reopening."


Lanhee Chen On In The Bubble With Andy Slavitt

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

(34:50) Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses the COVID-19 crisis.


Questions Abound, And Trouble Awaits. Lanhee Chen Talks To A&G.

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Armstrong & Getty
Friday, May 1, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses Joe Biden's sexual assault denial and the potential presidential candidacy of Justin Amash.

Analysis and CommentaryBlank Section (Placeholder)

Lanhee Chen: The Schools: A Key To America’s Reopening

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Friday, May 1, 2020

California’s governor recently floated the idea of reopening the state’s K-12 schools as early as July. It’s an idea that should be applauded and encouraged in other states. Reopening America’s schools is not only important for the future of our kids, but also for bringing our workplaces back online and jumpstarting the economy.

InterviewsBlank Section (Placeholder)

Lanhee Chen: 2 Perspectives On The Trump Administration’s Clash With WHO

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia PBS
Thursday, April 30, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses an escalating diplomatic battle between the WHO and the US, its largest funding source.