Bureau of Conflict and Stability Operations deputy assistant secretary, Mina Chang, has earlier been exposed by an NBC report that she included misleading claims about her educational achievements while exaggerating the extent of her nonprofit’s work on her resume. She was also outed for putting her face on a fake cover of Time magazine.
In response to the initial controversy, Chang claimed she did not lie about her academic credentials and did not commission the Time cover.
“A character assassination based solely on innuendo was launched against me attacking my credentials and character,” she 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.”
“It is essential that my resignation be seen as a protest and not as surrender because I will not surrender my commitment to serve, my fidelity to the truth, or my love of country. Indeed, I intend to fight for those things as a citizen in the days and years to come.”
According to Chang, she was “unfairly maligned, unprotected by my superiors, and exposed to a media with an insatiable desire for gossip and scandal, genuine or otherwise.”
Among the falsehoods uncovered in her resume included a supposed role on a United Nations panel, addressing the Democratic and the Republican national conventions, and that she had testified before Congress.
Chang, who was delegated her job in April, was reportedly being considered for a bigger post in the government that has over $1 billion in the budget, NBC reports. However, the promotion was compromised when Congress took note of her resume and started asking questions.
In the most recent false claims that emerged, Chang was found to misrepresent a trip to Afghanistan as a humanitarian mission. Documents from the defense contractor which funded her 2015 trip to Afghanistan would later contradict her claims that it was a humanitarian mission for her nonprofit “Linking the World.”
She was also found to have listed an academic who says he never worked for her nonprofit as an employee, claimed to obtain a nonexistent degree from the University of Hawaii and pretended to be an “ambassador” for the United Nations’ cultural agency UNESCO.
Chang further wrote in her resignation email that “it is disappointing that I have never been afforded the opportunity, or any due process whatsoever, to respond to the allegations levied against me.”
“Today, the politics of division and personal destruction are at their very worst, and I have found myself in the crosscurrents of that very division. What began as a willingness to serve has sadly turned into self-protection, not because I cannot serve as intended, but because I have concluded that I would be unable to do so effectively in the current toxic environment of the State Department,” Chang added.