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Talk of the Town: Could this Harvard Graduate Be the Next U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines?

Here's what you need to know about Mina Chang.
IMAGE U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT
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Manila has been abuzz the past two days with unconfirmed reports the U.S. State Department has found its new ambassador to the Philippines.

The rumor mill says Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations Mina Chang, 32, may take over the position currently occupied by Ambassador Sung Kim, who has served in the role since November 2016.

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Photo by U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT.

The U.S. Embassy says it currently has no information on who Kim's replacement will be.

If Chang does fill Kim's shoes in the future, she would be the second female ambassador to the Philippines after Kristie Kenney, who served from 2006 to 2009, Philippine Star reports.

Here's what you need to know about Chang, according to her official biography from the U.S. State Department website:

She has had experience working in the Philippines in the past.

Chang has experience working in areas of conflict and had been exposed to countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and even the Philippines, working on the ground. "She has been an advocate for proactive stabilization as a strategic tool of foreign engagement and an investment in a stronger America abroad," the website reads.

While in the Philippines as a responder, Chang was undergoing treatment for brain cancer, which she was diagnosed with in May 2014.

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Before holding a post in the U.S. government, she was the CEO of a humanitarian organization.

Chang headed Linking the World, which aims to create awareness of the policies and regulations issued by the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government. The organization employs a research practice that identifies communities at risk of "violent extremism" and uses real-life scenarios to find the root cause of the instability.

She went to Harvard.

Chang is an alumna of Harvard Business School. She was also a Harvard John F. Kennedy Senior Executive in National and International Security at New America. 

She is a published writer, tackling topics on humanitarian aid, development, and policy, among others.

According to her bio, she "has been published in CNN, Fortune, Foreign Policy Journal, Forbes," and more. Some of her articles can be viewed via her LinkedIn profile.

She was also once an entertainer.

Before her involvement in Linking the World, Chang was a singer who recorded pop songs in both Korean and English. While on tour, she would also make an effort to volunteer at relief efforts, reports local news outfit the Dallas Observer.

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Hannah Lazatin
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Hannah is originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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