A State Department official resigned Monday after it was alleged that she exaggerated her resume that included a false Time magazine cover with her image.
Mina Chang, a senior Trump administration official resigned from her role at the State Department when last week NBC wrote an expose’ questioning her qualifications to hold her high-ranking job.
Even as she resigns, she refuted any wrongdoing. “It is essential that my resignation be seen as a protest and not as surrender,” she wrote in her letter of resignation to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “because I will not surrender my commitment to serve, my fidelity to the truth, or my love of country.”
Chang, 35, has rebutted NBC’s story, arguing that her academic statements were not misleading and that she did not commission the doctored Time cover.
Chang, who joined the Trump administration in April, drew the attention of NBC when she was nominated to manage the US Agency International Development in Asia and its $1 billion budget. She currently serves in the State Department as deputy assistant secretary to the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations.
The former resident of Dallas, where she once had a career as a pop singer and in 2012 was voted among that cities 10 most attractive women in a Dmagazine promotion, was put in the spotlight when it was rumored that she was being considered for a job with more responsibility in the State Department, Congress began looking into her resume. It caught NBC’s attention when Congress asked Chang for more documentation.
Based on her Linked In experience, NBC looked into the validity of her resume. Chang’s educational experience appears to be limited to attending seminars and unaccredited universities.
She claims in her official State Department biography to be an “alumna” of Harvard Business School, but the university told NBC News that she attended a seven-week program in 2016.
Chang also claimed she had received a degree in international development from the University of Hawaii that the university does not in fact offer. UH went so far as to say that they don’t even have a Mina Chang that matches her age on file, according to NBC.
A program at the Army War College that she claimed to have graduated from was just a four-day national-security seminar, the college told NBC.
NBC also found that the UN panel Chang said she attended was merely a public roundtable.
The claim that she spoke at both the 2016 Democratic and Republican national conventions were instead completely unrelated appearances in the host cities of both conventions that happened to occur around the same time.
The fake Time magazine with her image on the cover, she says, was put on the Internet without her consent or knowledge even though the news magazine cover appeared in a video she has presented.
In her resignation letter, she decries the current culture at the State Department, a result of a clash between career diplomats and presidential appointees.
“In already difficult times, the Department of State is experiencing what I and many believe is the worst and most profound moral crisis confronting career professionals and political appointees in the Department’s history,” Chang wrote. “Department morale is at its lowest, the professionalism and collegiality — once a hallmark of the U.S. diplomatic service — has all but disappeared.”
Chang also takes the State Department to task for not defending her.
“A character assassination based solely on innuendo was launched against me attacking my credentials and character,” she said. “My superiors at the Department refused to defend me, stand up for the truth or allow me to answer the false charges against me.”
“Resigning is the only acceptable moral and ethical option for me at this time,” Chang wrote in her resignation letter, obtained by POLITICO. Her resignation is effective immediately
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