Lanhee J. Chen

David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow
Research Team: 
Biography: 

Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D. is the David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution; Director of Domestic Policy Studies and Lecturer in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University; and an affiliate of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.  He is also a Counsel at the law firm of Arent Fox LLP.

A veteran of several high-profile political campaigns, Chen has worked in government, the private sector, and academia. 

Most recently, Chen was an adviser to Senator Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign.  In 2012, he was the policy director for the Romney-Ryan presidential campaign, as well 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. He advised Romney on every major public policy challenge facing the United States and worked with a variety of stakeholders, including the congressional leadership, industry and business interests, and policy experts, to shape the campaign’s issues agenda.

In 2014, Chen was the Senior Adviser on Policy to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).  He was the deputy campaign manager and policy director of Steve Poizner’s 2010 California gubernatorial campaign, the domestic policy director of Governor Romney’s first presidential bid in 2008, and a health policy adviser to the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in 2004.

Chen currently serves 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.

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.” 

Chen’s writings have appeared in a variety of outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and Bloomberg View.  He has been a CNN Political Commentator and provided political analysis and commentary on nearly every other major television network.  Chen is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Salem Media Group. 

In the Bush administration, Chen was a senior official at the US Department of Health and Human Services. His private-sector experience includes having been an associate attorney with the international law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where he practiced business litigation. Chen was also the Winnie Neubauer Visiting Fellow in Health Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation and worked as a health policy advocate for a major business group in Washington, DC.

At Stanford, Chen serves as a member of the Faculty Steering Committee at the Haas Center for Public Service.  He has also been 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.

Chen frequently provides advice to companies and governmental entities on a wide range of contemporary public policy issues and is the founder and president of Launch Policy Strategies, a strategic consulting company.  He is also a member of both the International Advisory Council and the Health Advisory Board at APCO Worldwide, an international public affairs and communications firm.

Chen also serves in a variety of leadership roles in nonprofits and community-based organizations.  He is a Director of El Camino Hospital in the Silicon Valley, serves on the Board of Trustees of the Junior Statesmen Foundation and is on the Advisory Board of the Partnership for the Future of Medicare. Chen was recently elected to membership in 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

Featured

Lanhee Chen: Swooning Over a Brutal, Murderous Regime

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Liberal media outlets are swooning over North Korea’s “sports diplomacy” at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. They’ve even suggested that somehow the North Koreans have outmaneuvered the Trump Administration in the diplomatic arena.

Featured

Republicans Need A Nudge To Lower Health Care Costs

by Lanhee J. Chen, James C. Caprettavia The New York Times
Monday, February 12, 2018

Republicans in Congress and the Trump administration repealed the penalties associated with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in the tax act that passed in December. Now they need to replace the mandate with something that will address rising premiums and command broader support. Automatic enrollment into health insurance plans is a good place to start.

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Rx for Rose-colored Glasses

by Lanhee J. Chen, Micah Weinbergvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 26, 2018

“Medicare for all”? Please. Every country with a nationalized health care system, even those held up as models, struggles with serious tradeoffs.

Analysis and Commentary

Healthcare And The 2018 Agenda

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Tuesday, January 23, 2018

As the Republican-led Congress plans the 2018 legislative agenda, healthcare needs to continue to be a top priority. Health premiums are soaring, and millions of people have little or no choice of health insurance.

Analysis and Commentary

After Tax Reform: Return To Health Care

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tax reform legislation signed into law by President Trump in December, which will lower taxes for most Americans this year, unfortunately did nothing to stop billions of dollars in new taxes under Obamacare from hitting millions of Americans in the wallet.

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New Obamacare Taxes Are Hitting Millions Where It Hurts. It's Time To Repeal Them

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Fox News
Thursday, January 11, 2018

Tax reform legislation signed into law by President Trump in December, which will lower taxes for most Americans this year, unfortunately did nothing to stop billions of dollars in new taxes under ObamaCare from hitting millions of Americans in the wallet.

Analysis and Commentary

Significant Accomplishments For GOP And Trump In 2017

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Wednesday, December 27, 2017

It’s been an eventful year in American politics, but don’t let the hype distract from the reality. It’s also been a year of significant accomplishments for the Republican Congress and, yes, President Donald Trump.

Analysis and Commentary

Confirm Azar As New Secretary For Health And Human Services

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Thursday, December 7, 2017

President Trump has nominated Alex Azar to be the next Secretary of Health and Human Services. It’s an important job, as the future of Obamacare hangs in the balance and Republicans continue to express their desire to repeal and replace the law.

Analysis and Commentary

Congress Should Give Opportunity To The Laboratories Of Democracy

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A consensus is emerging on Capitol Hill about the need to fund Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies, which help working-class Americans buy health insurance. The question is what fundamental reforms conservatives should get in return.

Analysis and Commentary

The Long-Running Russia Disinformation Campaign

by Lanhee J. Chenvia Townhall
Monday, November 6, 2017

This past week, executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified before Congress about Russian meddling in the 2016 election. For well over a decade, the Russians have spread disinformation and sought to influence the outcome of elections throughout Europe and elsewhere.

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