Mina Chang is the U.S. State Department official who is being accused of lying on her resume. The allegations against Chang, 35, first appeared in an NBC News report on November 12. The report accused Chang of lying about graduating from Harvard, lying about a position she held at the United Nations and lying about speaking at the Republican and Democratic conventions.
Chang, a native of Dallas, is the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Chang’s official State Department profile details a long career working in the non-profit sector with a focus on humanitarian aid in countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, the Philippines and Nigeria.
At the time of writing, Chang has made no public statement on the NBC News allegations.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Chang Was Being Considered for a More Prominent State Department Role Which Would Have Seen Her Overseeing a Budget of More Than $1 Billion
NBC News reports that Chang’s connection to the Trump administration is through Brian Bulato, a friend of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. NBC reports, citing friends, that Bulato donated $5,500 to a charity that Chang was involved with. The report also says that Bulato had no role within the non-profit. Bulato and Pompeo attended West Point together.
Chang’s role in the State Department is in a section that deals with attempts to prevent war in “politically unstable countries,” according to NBC News. The report adds that in 2018, Chang had been considered for a more prominent role in the State Department which would have seen her responsible for a budget of over $1 billion. Chang withdrew her nomination for that role before a Senate hearing on the job.
According to Chang’s Facebook page, she is the CEO of Linking the World.
NBC News reports that tax documents for Linking the World show that the organization had a budget of $300,000, in addition to a handful of staff. The report notes that there is no evidence to back some of Chang’s claims about the work her non-profit has done in the world.
On her LinkedIn page, Chang says that she graduated from Harvard University in 2016. While on her official State Department biography, Chang is described 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.
Chang also attended the University of Nations, a Christian school that is staffed by volunteer teachers. Chang said in a 2014 interview that she has a degree in international development from the University of Hawaii. Chang added in that interview that she first became interested in music while in college and began by writing songs in Korean.
Chang also says on that page that she is a graduate of Southern Methodist University. Chang also writes at length on her LinkedIn page about her work with the United Nations. In particular, Chang says that she worked with humanitarian relief in the organization.
Chang’s official State Department biography says that she is “a graduate of the United States Army War College National Security Seminar.” NBC News reports that the program was a four-day seminar on national security.
2. Chang Is Also Accused of Faking a Time Magazine Cover Which Showed Her Face
Chang is also accused in the NBC report of faking a Time Magazine cover that purported to show her face. The magazine cover is shown in the above video which was embedded on the website for a non-profit that Chang founded.
In the video, an interviewer asked Chang how the Time cover came about. Chang responded, “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.”
3. Chang Was Once an Aspiring Singer
In 2009, Chang was an aspiring singer and released an album of holiday songs. A June 2014 Dallas Observer feature on Chang referred to her as a “singer-turned-activist.” In that article, Chang says that she was about to sign a new deal with her record company until the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Chang said, “I took a huge chance stepping away from something I thought was safe and such a huge opportunity but I knew this is where my heart is.”
The Observer article says that Chang “had a flourishing career as an international pop singer, recording albums in both English and Korean.” The website for Chang’s music career now links to Linking the World’s website. Chang is the mother to a daughter named Trinity. Chang told the Observer, “I want my daughter to grow up in a world where her classmates don’t take school for granted. Where she doesn’t take school for granted.”
4. Chang Is Married to Charity Founder Jake Harriman
Harriman served seven and a half years as an Infantry and Special Operations Platoon Commander in the Marine Corps following his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy, according to his Facebook bio. In an Instagram tribute to her husband in February 2019, Chang wrote, “I am so blessed to love and be loved by a man who inspires me every single day.” While in December 2018, Chang wrote that Harriman was nursing her back to health following spinal surgery and cervical fusions.
5. Chang’s Social Media Profiles Show in Photos With Bill Clinton, Karl Rove & Gen. David Petraeus
At the time of writing, Chang has over 42,000 followers on her Instagram page. On that page, Chang shows photos with former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, George W. Bush’s deputy chief of staff, Karl Rove, and retired Gen. David Petraeus. Photos on that page also show Chang regularly attending gala and charity events.
Chang’s most recent Instagram post shows her attending a Lenny Kravitz concert.