December 12, 2023 — The University of Memphis Board of Trustees today approved long-time FedEx Corp. executive Rene Bustamante as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer/Chief Financial Officer for the University. Bustamante will join the University on Jan. 2.
“The University finds itself in a fortunate place with the addition of Rene as our new Executive Vice President and COO/CFO,” said UofM President Dr. Bill Hardgrave. “The breadth and depth of his knowledge on global financial matters as well as his extensive connections with the business community made him the ideal person for this key role on our executive team. That he is also an alum makes this moment especially meaningful. I am confident he will be ready to hit the ground running on Day 1.”
Bustamante is a two-time graduate of the University of Memphis, receiving his bachelor of business administration degree and his master’s degree in economics from the University. He also was an adjunct instructor of economics, teaching students about microeconomics, macroeconomics and economic forecasting over the course of 17 years.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to be appointed the new EVP, COO/CFO at the University of Memphis. For me, this represents a full-circle moment, returning to the institution I deeply love and hold dear,” said Bustamante. “The University of Memphis played a pivotal role in shaping me into the successful professional I am today. Now, I feel a profound sense of responsibility to give back and contribute to the University's ambitious goals of achieving national recognition and leveraging its prestigious Carnegie R1 research status. I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the University's talented team of professionals to make a positive impact and further strengthen one of the Memphis community's most cherished pillars.”
Bustamante also earned a master of business administration degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., with a concentration in corporate finance and international finance. He worked for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., and for a Denver-based financial consultant before beginning his 29-year career at FedEx Corp., rising through the ranks to become staff vice president and assistant treasurer.
At the Fortune 500 company, Bustamante directed and oversaw global corporate finance activities, including financing over $1 billion of aircraft leases. He also established the banking structures in several places globally including India, Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
Beyond his command of corporate finance, Bustamante is known for his servant leadership and ability to develop diverse high-performing teams. He served as a member of the corporate diversity council at FedEx and as the executive champion of the Hispanic Action Network while there.