Back to News

Sergio Bustos to serve as speaker at December graduation

Nov 12, 2018

Posted in: News

USA Today World Editor and Robertson School alumnus Sergio Bustos

USA Today World Editor Sergio R. Bustos will serve as the commencement speaker for the VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture’s December graduation. Commencement will take place on Friday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. in  Exhibit Hall B at the Richmond Convention Center, 403 N 3rd St. Bustos' speech is titled "The classroom of life awaits -- don’t stop learning." The ceremony is open to the public and no tickets are needed. 

“We’re so excited and proud to have Mr. Bustos as our School’s commencement speaker this time,” said Robertson School Director Dr. Hong Cheng. “As one of our own, Mr. Bustos’ ever-learning spirit, global vision and amazing achievements as a professional journalist will be especially inspiring and enlightening for our graduating class.”

Bustos, a 1984 graduate from the Robertson School (then the School of Mass Communications), has been a journalist for more than three decades, working as a reporter for more than 20 years and as an editor for the past 13 years. Born in Santiago, Chile, and raised in Annandale, Bustos began his journalism career at The Washington Post — delivering the newspaper as a teenager in suburban northern Virginia.

In May 1984, upon graduating from VCU, Bustos went to work as a reporter for newspapers in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley — the News-Virginian in Waynesboro and Daily News-Leader in Staunton — before becoming a general assignment reporter at the Wilmington, Del., News-Journal.

In the summer of 1987, he joined The Philadelphia Inquirer as a suburban reporter after his News-Journal editor recruited him to the big-city newspaper. At The Inquirer, he won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in 1992 for a series of stories that revealed how courts and police routinely violated rights of Spanish-speaking farmworkers in southeastern Pennsylvania. He was also among the lead reporters who exposed a scandal involving thousands of fraudulent absentee ballots that prompted a judge to nullify the election of a Democratic state senator. The Inquirer was later named as a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for the stories.

He was one of 10 journalists nationwide to be awarded a John and Catherine MacArthur Foundation grant to study at the University of Southern California’s Center for International Journalists, where he traveled and wrote extensively about Mexico and Cuba in 1992-1993.

After reporting stints at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Latin Trade, a business magazine, Bustos spent more than six years as a Washington correspondent for Gannett News Service. He covered the contentious debate over immigration and border security, especially in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, for the newspaper chain’s properties in the southwestern U.S., including The Arizona Republic.

In 2005, after two decades as a reporter, Bustos joined The Miami Herald as an editor. He spent the next decade there as police and courts editor, Broward County editor, state and politics editor and Sunday editor. In 2012, he supervised an award-winning investigative project into a local congressman’s involvement in a campaign finance scandal. He also supervised coverage of two governor races and the 2012 presidential election.

Bustos returned to reporting in 2015 when he joined The Associated Press as a national political correspondent covering the 2016 presidential campaign. He was assigned to cover Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. In 2016, he was named editor of POLITICO Florida, a digital media company, where he edited a series of stories that led to the resignation of one of Florida’s most powerful state senators amid sexual harassment allegations from six women who were on the lawmaker’s staff or had lobbied him.

In the summer of 2018, USA Today named Bustos as its new World Editor. He supervises reporters in Washington, London and Miami.

Bustos is married with two children, ages 14 and 20, and lives in South Florida. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from VCU and a graduate certificate in International Journalism from the University of Southern California.