Dr. Chris Bustamante


Chris Bustamante, Ed.D., serves as President of Rio Salado College, the largest in headcount of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges located in metropolitan Phoenix, and one of the premier online education institutions in the nation. Rio Salado serves 51,000 credit and an additional 13,000 non-credit students annually, of which 40,000 are online students.

Dr. Bustamante was appointed to this position in June 2010 after serving as the college’s Interim President, Vice President of Community Development and Student Services, and Dean of Academic Affairs. Earlier in his career, he served in senior level government affairs positions for the Maricopa Community College District. Dr. Bustamante is well-known as an advocate for increasing access to higher education opportunities. He has forged transformational partnerships with business, government and other educational providers, leading to innovations such as the first Communiversity to be established west of the Mississippi River.


In addition, Dr. Bustamante currently serves as an Adjunct Professor for Northern Arizona University in the Master’s of Educational Leadership Program. Before joining the MCCCD, Dr. Bustamante served as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Community and Government Relations for the Phoenix Union High School District.  Dr. Bustamante also served as a Legislative Aide to the Arizona House of Representatives from 1984-1987.


Dr. Bustamante attended Pima Community College and graduated from the University of Arizona in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Finance. Chris resides in Tempe, Arizona, with his wife, Mary, and daughters Briana, Alysa, and Elena.

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