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; Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School; and an affiliate of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Chen 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.
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. He is also the inaugural Director of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group, a project at the Aspen Institute that draws together a diverse range of distinguished leaders and thinkers to address significant structural challenges in the U.S. economy.
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 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 New York Times, The Washington Post, 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. In addition, Chen is a member of both the International Advisory Council and the Health Advisory Board at APCO Worldwide, an international public affairs and communications firm.
Chen serves in a variety of leadership roles in nonprofits and community-based organizations. He is Chair of the Board of Directors of El Camino Hospital in the Silicon Valley, a Director of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP), 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. 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.