Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D. is the David and Diane Steffy Fellow in American Public Policy Studies at the Hoover Institution, Director of Domestic Policy Studies in the Public Policy Program, and an Affiliate of the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He is also a presidentially-appointed and Senate-confirmed member of the independent and bipartisan Social Security Advisory Board.

Chen is a veteran of several high-profile U.S. political campaigns and served as policy director for Governor Mitt Romney’s 2012 bid for the presidency. In that role, he was Romney’s chief policy adviser; a senior strategist on the campaign; and the person responsible for developing the campaign’s domestic and foreign policy. Previously, Chen served as a senior appointee at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the George W. Bush Administration, in private law practice at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and has advised numerous other presidential, gubernatorial, and congressional campaigns.

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.

Academic Appointments

  • Hoover Research Fellow, Hoover Institution

Administrative Appointments

  • Director of Domestic Policy Studies, Public Policy Program (2015 - Present)
  • Member, Faculty Steering Committee, Haas Center for Public Service (2015 - Present)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Member, State Bar of California (2008 - Present)
  • Member, Board of Directors, El Camino Hospital (2015 - Present)
  • Member, Social Security Advisory Board (2015 - Present)

Program Affiliations

  • Public Policy

All Publications

  • Getting Ready For Health Reform 2020: Republicans' Options For Improving Upon The State Innovation Approach HEALTH AFFAIRS Chen, L. J. 2018; 37 (12): 2076–83
  • Getting Ready For Health Reform 2020: Republicans' Options For Improving Upon The State Innovation Approach. Health affairs (Project Hope) Chen, L. J. 2018: 101377hlthaff201805119


    The 2020 presidential election will be consequential for the future of health reform, with the two major-party nominees taking very different views on the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as the policies needed to lower health costs and continue to expand access to coverage. The Republican nominee will likely signal broad opposition to the ACA and a desire to replace it with a state innovation-based approach to reform, based on the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson legislation considered by the Senate in the fall of 2017. This article takes that legislation as a starting point, contextualizes it within the broader health reform discussion, and suggests ways to improve upon it to enhance the affordability of and access to coverage and to ensure that states have adequate flexibility to implement their policy goals.

    View details for PubMedID 30444425