An investigation by NBC News has revealed that senior Trump administration official Mina Chang, who is currently the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stability Operations, not only heavily embellished her CV with misleading information about her professional experience and educational background, but even faked a Time magazine cover featuring her face.
Chang, whose present job includes helping to oversee conflict prevention in politically unstable countries, claimed in her resume that she was on a UN-convened panel about drones in humanitarian relief efforts. However, this claim also was not confirmed by organisation’s records, with one source asserting that there was a single roundtable devoted to this discussion, and panel appointments were not held.
The 35-year-old Chang also said she was the CEO of the nonprofit organisation Linking the World, claiming it to be operating internationally in dozens of countries in a bid to impact thousands of people, by, for example, building schools. However, both tax filings and the former employer could not confirm this information.
“We are not implementers of programmes. We pilot new technologies, testing their practicalities, and seek to identify the 'unintended consequences' that are rife in our industry”, former chief of staff of Linking the World Ian Dailey told NBC News, when arguing that the testing of new technologies was the organisation’s primary objective, thus contradicting Chang’s claims.
Chang has also allegedly inflated her resume in terms of her educational background, insisting that she was an “alumna” of Harvard Business School, where she only attended a seven-week course in 2016, and was a “graduate” of the Army War College, where she spent four days for a seminar on national security, NBC revealed citing the schools’ records
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Chang’s most surprising CV boost was, nevertheless, publicly observed when in a 2017 video posted on Linking the World’s website, and subsequently deleted following NBC News’ revelations, displayed a Time magazine cover with the deputy assistant secretary’s face on it. When replying to an interviewer’s question about the history behind the image, Chang boasted that it was recognition of her efforts within the nonprofit organisation’s use of drone technologies as a disaster response. Time magazine spokesperson Kristin Matzen later said that the cover was “not authentic”.
Some netizens could not help but remember how Donald Trump had also previously placed himself on a Time cover, provoking a number of jokes and comments following media revelations.
Only the best people.— James Shattuck (@JHShattu) November 13, 2019
Senior State Department official Mina Chang lied on her resume and created a fake TIME magazine cover with her face on it.— amber ruffin (@ambermruffin) November 12, 2019
This idiot could have gotten away with this lie as we were ALL TIME MAGAZINE PERSON OF THE YEAR IN 2006! pic.twitter.com/u1dAvXPqqS
She was also Time Magazines person of the year in 2006, so was I. Look it up.— Jess🇦🇺💪🏻👩🏻👩🏻💻🐨 (@JgSpeight) November 13, 2019
Chang, who has not commented on the issue yet, is not reported to be linked to the US president, but was allegedly about to be promoted to a higher position in the US Agency for International Development's work in Asia. It remains unclear so far how Mina Chang, who was pursuing a career as an artist and put out a music album prior to her humanitarian efforts, managed to get a security clearance in the State Department.