President's Profile

Chris Bustamante, President, Rio Salado College

Chris Bustamante, Ed.D., serves as the President of Rio Salado College, the largest of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges located in metropolitan Phoenix, AZ. The College serves more than 65,000 students annually with more than 44,000 students online. 

Dr. Bustamante is a well-known advocate for increasing access to higher education and degree completion, and for forging transformational partnerships with business, government, and other educational providers.

Dr. Bustamante was appointed as President of Rio Salado College in June 2010 after serving as the College’s Interim President, 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.

He serves on many national and state boards including; the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Board of Directors, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) Board of Trustees, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Commissioner for Arizona, and the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) Executive Council. He is also the President of the National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC), a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) and Steering Committee member of the WICHE State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (W-SARA), President’s Forum Board of Directors, Chair of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Center on Education Attainment and Innovation, and the President-elect of the Continuous Quality Improvement Network (CQIN). Most recently he participated in the ACE Presidential Innovation Lab.

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