Mina Chang, a Trump administration official from Dallas who reportedly used a fake Time magazine cover to tout her nonprofit group’s work and exaggerated other accomplishments and her education, has resigned.
Chang, 35, had disputed the NBC News report last week about the allegations but wrote in her resignation letter that “resigning is the only acceptable moral and ethical option for me at this time,” Politico reported.
She had been deputy assistant secretary for the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations since April.
The resignation came shortly after NBC reporters asked her about additional claims, including that she had a nonexistent degree from the University of Hawaii and that a 2015 trip to Afghanistan had been a humanitarian mission.
In her resignation letter, Chang said that the atmosphere at the State Department has gotten worse and that “the professionalism and collegiality … has all but disappeared,” according to Politico
She also complained that the agency did not defend her from the allegations that she’d embellished her résumé.
“A character assassination based solely on innuendo was launched against me attacking my credentials and character,” Chang wrote. “My superiors at the Department refused to defend me, stand up for the truth or allow me to answer the false charges against me.”
According to NBC’s report, Chang made up a role on a United Nations panel and “exaggerated the scope of her nonprofit’s work.” She also took a Time cover to a 2017 interview about her nonprofit group, Linking the World, to cite as an example of her work, NBC reported.
The interviewer with the Houston Community College-produced program Global Outlook congratulated her on the cover and asked her how it came about.
“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 … and I suppose I brought some attention to that,” Chang replied.
Chang’s State Department biography page described her as an “alumna of the Harvard Business School,” though NBC reported she only took a seven-week course there in 2016.
The school said it grants “alumni status” to anyone who attends one of its education programs.
Congressional records show Chang’s nomination for assistant administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development was withdrawn in September. NBC reported that she was considered for that job until officials began asking questions about her résumé.
The Dallas Observer wrote in 2014 that Chang had been an international pop singer, recording songs in English and Korean, before becoming chief executive of Linking the World. She told the Observer at the time that she had been diagnosed with brain cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy.
Staff writer Dana Branham contributed to this report.
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