VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Community College (VCC) Board of Governors is pleased to confirm Ajay Patel as VCC President and CEO, effective immediately. Patel has been acting president since September 2019. He joined VCC in May 2019 as Vice President of Enterprise and International Development and was named interim president just two months later, replacing the departing Dr. Peter Nunoda.
The Board of Governors unanimously endorsed Patel as president. “We knew that Ajay brought a high calibre of leadership and experience when he came to VCC. The Board was confident that he would provide skilled leadership as the interim president, and he exceeded expectations. Ajay has worked tirelessly to steward the college’s initiatives forward and we are delighted that he accepted the position on a permanent basis, ” says Board Chair Joey Hartman.
An award-winning leader in B.C.’s competitive sports community, including 12 years as Chef de Mission of Team B.C. for Canada Winter and Summer Games, Patel spent the most recent 17 years at Langara College, rising from an instructor in the Kinesiology department to Vice President, External Development. In that role, he participated in the development and ongoing implementation of Langara’s Strategic Plan, overseeing operations and initiatives that were crucial to securing the college’s financial sustainability.
That experience will be especially valuable at VCC where, in addition to leading the college as President and CEO, Patel will be instrumental in revising and implementing the Campus Master Plan, a 10-year capital project designed to build VCC’s future.
“I look forward to serving the college community and feel privileged to work on the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh lands on which our three campuses reside,” says Patel. “Over the past year, I have witnessed VCC’s strengths and values for which the college is known – providing an inclusive and welcoming environment, equipping students with the skills employers demand, and supporting the city and province.”
Born in Fiji, Patel moved to Canada in 1975 at age 6, and was raised and educated in East Vancouver. After completing his Kinesiology studies at what was then known as VCC (Langara Campus), Patel went on to complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of B.C. He then enjoyed a successful career in the provincial sport sector, serving in administrative roles with the Sport Medicine Council of B.C., Badminton B.C. and Gymnastics B.C., and leading Team B.C. through seven Canada Games (Winter and Summer). He was the Chair for the Vancouver Sport Strategy and sat on the City of Vancouver Healthy City for All Leadership Table.
Patel joined Langara College as an instructor in 2001 and moved through a series of increasingly senior positions, including Department Chair (Kinesiology), Division Chair (Health Sciences), Dean (International Education), Associate Vice President (International and External Development) and Vice President (External Development).
As a provincial leader in the international education sector, Patel serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Bureau for International Education and was honoured with the B.C. Council for International Education Distinguished Leadership Award in 2019. Patel also serves on the College and Institutes of Canada’s International Advisory Committee and a number of other committees. Patel lives with his wife of 24 years and their two teenage children.
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