Dr. Chris Bustamante is the president of Rio Salado College and the Maricopa Corporate College, each located in Tempe, Arizona. Both institutions are part of the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) which serves approximately 230,000 students annually. Rio Salado College is the largest of the District’s ten individually accredited colleges and serves nearly 55,000 students each year with more than 27,000 students online. The Maricopa Corporate College serves business and industry through customized workforce solutions and non-credit training.
Dr. Bustamante is a well-known advocate for increasing access to higher education and degree completion. In addition, he is highly regarded for forging transformational partnerships with business, government and other educational providers.
He was appointed president of Rio Salado College in June 2010, and president of the Maricopa Corporate College in August 2016. Other leadership roles at Rio Salado include: Vice President of Community Development and Student Services and Dean of Academic Affairs. Previously he served in senior level government affairs positions for the Maricopa County Community College District, as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Community and Government Relations for the Phoenix Union High School District, and as a Legislative Aide in the Arizona House of Representatives.
A native to Arizona, he holds both a doctorate and master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arizona and also attended Pima Community College as a transfer student.
In addition to his responsibilities at Rio Salado College and Maricopa Corporate College, Dr. Bustamante’s commitment to higher education is noted by his leadership roles nationally and locally. He serves as Board Chair for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) Board of Trustees. In addition, he serves as a board member for the American Council on Education (ACE) and is Past Chair of ACE’s Commission on Education Attainment and Innovation. He is immediate past president and member of the National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC) Board and a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA), the President’s Forum Board of Directors, and participates on the advisory board for the Higher Education Research and Development Institute (HERDI). In addition, Dr. Bustamante is immediate past president of the Continuous Quality Improvement Network (CQIN) and member of its executive committee. He is also co-chair of Arizona-Mexico Commission’s Education Committee, a board member for the Friends of Public Radio – Arizona, and is a board member of the Boy Scouts of America, Grand Canyon Council. In 2015, Dr. Bustamante served as a member of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Transition Team for Education.
Chris and his wife Mary live in Tempe where they are raising their three daughters.