Mina Chang, a senior Trump administration official, was accused of lying her résumé about her professional background, and even creating a fake Time magazine cover with her face on it. The allegations against the 35-year-old first appeared in an NBC News report on Tuesday.
According to the report, Chang lied about graduating from Harvard, about a position she held at the United Nations and about speaking at the Republican and Democratic conventions. Chang assumed her post in April as the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stability Operations.
The report added that in 2018, Chang had been considered for a more prominent role in the State Department, one with a budget of more than $1 billion, until Congress started asking questions about her résumé. She withdrew her nomination for that role before a Senate hearing on the job.
"It does seem that this administration has not been doing the same depth of vetting as previous administrations," said James Pfiffner, a George Mason University professor and expert on the executive branch who once worked in the government's Office of Personnel Management, which does vetting.
On her LinkedIn page, Chang wrote that she graduated from Harvard University in 2016. Her official State Department biography described her as an "alumna" of Harvard Business School. Speaking to NBC News, a spokesperson for the school says that Chang attended a seven-week course in 2016 and did not achieve a degree. In an April 2019 Instagram photo, Chang is shown to be wearing a Harvard hat.
In 2017, Chang had spoken about her Time magazine cover. "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.