Mina Chang.Department of State
WASHINGTON — 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 — like claiming, falsely, to be a Harvard grad — and exaggerated the scope of her nonprofit’s work.
Whatever her qualifications, Chang had a key connection in the Trump administration. Brian Bulatao, a top figure in the State Department and longtime friend of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, attended a fundraiser for her nonprofit in Dallas and once donated $5,500 to her charity, according to a former colleague of Chang’s.
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.
The gap between Chang’s actual qualifications and her claims appears to be the latest example of lax vetting by the Trump administration, which has become known for its many job vacancies and appointments made without thorough screening.
Chang’s nomination to the USAID job, which would have required Senate confirmation, was withdrawn on Sept. 9 without public explanation, after the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations asked her for more documents and details about her nonprofit organization and her work experience.