Lanhee J. Chen

David and Diane Steffy Fellow in American Public Policy Studies
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Biography: 

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

Policy InsightsFeatured

Policy Insights: Immigration Reform

featuring Edward Paul Lazear, Timothy Kane, David R. Henderson, Tom Church, John H. Cochrane, Lanhee J. Chen, Clint Bolick, Richard A. Epsteinvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Immigration is a contentious topic. To complicate it further, immigration should often be broken down into several distinct topics. It can mean legal or illegal immigration, it can mean permanent or temporary visas, and it can mean preventing future flows or managing existing stocks.

Analysis and Commentary

What We’re Learning From The Slate Of Democratic Presidential Candidates

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The 2020 Democratic presidential field continues to take shape, and what’s been more revealing are the people who have decided not to run, as opposed to those who have. Mike Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York City, would have been a formidable candidate with his wealth and moderate positions on economic issues.  He’s not running.

Interviews

National Political News Roundup

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia KQED
Monday, March 11, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen analyzes and discusses the latest news and events  in DC.

Analysis and Commentary

Democrats Push Single Payer

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Friday, March 8, 2019

Democrats introduced single-payer health care legislation last week that—if passed—would move every American into a single, government-run insurance program, within two years. The bill already has over 100 co-sponsors in the U.S. House, and many of the Democratic Party’s candidates for president in 2020 are sure to endorse it too. But, as with other plans to bring socialized medicine to all Americans, this single-payer legislation has plenty of drawbacks.

Analysis and Commentary

The President Was Right To Walk Away

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Thursday, March 7, 2019

President Trump’s recent summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un may have ended without a deal, but the entire episode served to demonstrate that sometimes, walking away is the best decision.

Interviews

Lanhee Chen On AirTalk

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia KPCC 89.3 (Southern California)
Monday, March 4, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen joins a round table to discuss Michael Cohen, President Trump's national emergency, CPAC, and much more.

Analysis and Commentary

Ep. 6: The Junior Senator From Utah

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Crossing Lines with Lanhee Chen
Friday, March 1, 2019
Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen interviews Senator Mitt Romney about his life in the Senate, the state of US politics, and some of the policies he plans to focus on over the coming months. Lanhee also talks about the Trump-Kim summit and other events of the week.
Interviews

Lanhee Chen: Breaking Down Tangible Goals Of President Trump's Second Summit With Kim Jong Un

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia Fox News
Thursday, February 28, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen discusses what he thinks should be a top goal of the Trump administration concerning North Korea.

Interviews

Lanhee Chen: Cohen Testimony, Threatening Tweets And A Crucial Vote Against Trump On Capitol Hill (7:23)

interview with Lanhee J. Chenvia MSNBC
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Lanhee Chen joins a panel discussion on President Trump's nation emergency.

In the News

Chuck Todd: Will Democrats ‘Regret If They Don’t’ Impeach Trump?

quoting Lanhee J. Chenvia NewsBusters
Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The panel on Sunday’s edition of Meet the Press agreed with an article in The Atlantic, admitting that the Mueller probe may “end with unfinished business.” 

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