Lei Chen

Lei Chen is a fourth-year doctoral student of Social Welfare. Her research interests include health and aging policy, cross-cultural studies, older adults’ social support and psychological well-being, immigrant’s access to health care, and mixed methods. 

Lei is a graduate student researcher at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. She is currently involved in two mixed-method projects: The Research on ImmiGrant HealTh and State policy (RIGHTS) Study and the Use of Long-Term Services and Supports in California (LTSS). The RIGHTS study examines how California’s immigrant policy environment influences access to health care by identifying how the state’s cross-sectional policies shape Asian and Latino immigrants’ daily lives. The LTSS study aims to address the need for data that assesses the use of and demand for long-term services and supports (LTSS) in California. She is doing data analysis for these two projects and working on several papers related to cross-cultural researchers’ positionality in immigrant health studies, law enforcement and public charge, and social support for Asian and Latino immigrants.

Apart from being an academic, Lei has assisted the policy-making process of the Master Planning on Aging in California, which will serve as a blueprint that can be used by state government, local communities, private organizations and philanthropy to build environments that promote an age-friendly California. She is the author of the recent policy paper (Solving the Economic Security Gap for California’s Older Adults) for the California Commission on Aging to examine the trends in population growth, diversity, and the economic inequity experienced by many older adults in California.

Before joining the Ph.D. program at UCLA, she worked as research assistant for several companies, international organizations, and universities, including McKinsey & Company, Fudan University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Washington University and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).