Dr. Lanhee Chen

Former Policy Director, Mitt Romney Presidential Campaign, 2012 and Romney's Chief Policy Adviser


Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D. is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and teaches in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University. He is also a columnist for Bloomberg View.  Chen's current research focuses on campaigns and elections, health policy, economic policy, and California policy and politics. Chen, a veteran of several high-profile political campaigns, has also served in government, the private sector, and academia.


Before coming to Hoover, Chen was the policy director for the Romney-Ryan presidential campaign, as well as 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 Governor 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.


He served in the Bush administration as a senior official at the US Department of Health and Human Services. His private-sector experience includes time as an associate attorney with the international law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where he practiced business litigation. Additionally, Chen was 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.


Chen is an eight-time winner of Harvard University’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, and his scholarship has appeared or been cited in several of the nation’s top political science journals.


He 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, Cynthia, and his son, Tobin.

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