Padding the CV

Somebody with a high-up job at the State Department got the job by telling a bunch of whoppers.

A senior Trump administration official has embellished her résumé with misleading claims about her professional background — even creating a fake Time magazine cover with her face on it — raising questions about her qualifications to hold a top position at the State Department.

An NBC News investigation found that Mina Chang, the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stability Operations, has inflated her educational achievements and exaggerated the scope of her nonprofit’s work.

Chang, who assumed her post in April, also invented a role on a U.N. panel, claimed she had addressed both the Democratic and Republican national conventions, and implied she had testified before Congress.

She was being considered for an even bigger government job, one with a budget of more than $1 billion, until Congress started asking questions about her résumé.

In her State Department post, Chang, 35, from Dallas, helps oversee efforts to prevent conflicts from erupting in politically unstable countries. She earns a six-figure salary in a bureau with a $6 million budget. A deputy assistant secretary usually has a top secret security clearance. It’s not clear if Chang has such a clearance.

But it is clear that she’s never been on the cover of Time.

For Chang’s current job, her most relevant experience would appear to be her time as CEO of a nonprofit called Linking the World. Chang has touted her small nonprofit online and in speeches as operating in dozens of countries, building schools and “impacting” thousands of people. But tax filings for her organization offer no concrete information about overseas projects and show a budget of less than $300,000 with a handful of staff.

She sounds like Princess Ivanka. Princess Ivanka tells us she’s doing all this empowery stuff for women but really she’s just empowering herself. No doubt both of them “identify as” important thought leaders who are making things happen all over everywhere, but identifying as ain’t magic.

In a 2017 video posted on her nonprofit’s website, Chang can be heard describing her work while a Time magazine cover with her face on it scrolls past.

“Here you are on Time magazine, congratulations! Tell me about this cover and how it came to be?” asks the interviewer, who hosts a YouTube show.

“Well, we started using drone technology in disaster response and so that was when the whole talk of how is technology being used to save lives in disaster response scenarios, I suppose I brought some attention to that,” Chang said.

Behold the fake cover:

Image: A fake Time magazine cover with Mina Chang.

NOT A REAL TIME COVER

Chang’s biography says she was part of a panel on drones in humanitarian relief efforts convened by the U.N. But there’s no record backing up her claim and a source with knowledge of the matter said she was not part of the “panel,” which was a single public roundtable.

Chang says in her official biography that she is as an “alumna” of Harvard Business School. According to the university, Chang attended a seven-week course in 2016, and does not hold a degree from the institution.

But wait, there’s more!

Her biography on the State Department website says she is a “graduate” of a program at the Army War College. But the program she attended was a four-day seminar on national security, according to the college.

Chang does not cite any undergraduate degree in her biography, but her LinkedIn account mentions the University of the Nations, an unaccredited Christian school with volunteer teachers that says it has 600 locations “on all continents.”

She says she “addressed” both the Democratic and Republican national conventions in 2016, but videos and documents show she instead spoke at separate events held in Philadelphia and Cleveland during the same time periods.

Whatever. It’s only the State Department.

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