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Lanhee Chen
Lecturer in Law

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 Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School.  He is also a columnist with Bloomberg View.

In 2013, Chen was appointed by President Barack Obama, upon the recommendation of United States Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), to serve as a member of the Social Security Advisory Board—an independent, bipartisan board 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 currently awaiting confirmation by the United States Senate.

Chen’s current research focuses on health policy, campaigns and elections, economic policy, and California policy and politics. A veteran of several high-profile political campaigns, he has also served in government, the private sector, and academia.

Before coming to Stanford, Chen was the policy director for the Romney-Ryan presidential campaign, as well as Governor 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 2012, he was named one of POLITICO’s “50 Politicos to Watch.”

Chen also served as 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.

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.

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.

He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Partnership for the Future of Medicare, a bipartisan organization dedicated to ensuring the long-term security of the Medicare program. 

Chen earned his PhD and AM in political science from Harvard University, his JD cum laude from Harvard Law School, and his AB 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 Bay Area with his wife and children.