In April, Mina Chang was appointed deputy assistant secretary in the State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stability Operations. But is she qualified for the role? An NBC News investigation finds that Chang not only "embellished her resume," the station says, but went so far as to create a fake Time magazine cover with her face on it. Before she was hired, Chang was already linked to a top State Department figure—Brian Bulatao—who once donated $5,500 to her nonprofit, and attended a fundraiser for it in Dallas. She was the CEO of Linking the World, and the NBC probe finds she may have inflated just how big the organization is; she also exaggerated her educational achievements and made numerous other inflated claims and implications including having a role on a UN panel, addressing national conventions for both parties, and testifying before Congress.
NBC notes the Trump administration has in the past been accused of not properly vetting officials. "It does seem that this administration has not been doing the same depth of vetting as previous administrations," says one expert who previously worked for the government's Office of Personnel Management, which performs vetting. Chang, 35, earns six figures, and though it's not clear whether she has top secret security clearance, NBC notes deputy assistant secretaries typically do. As for the doctored Time cover, NBC notes it can be seen in this 2017 video, in which Chang is interviewed by the host of a YouTube show. The interviewer says Chang brought the cover along as an example of her work, but Time says the cover is "not authentic." NBC has evidence of other Chang claims being disputed and much more on her background; see the full investigation here. (Read more State Department stories.)