President and CEO, Vancouver Community College
Ajay Patel was confirmed as president of Vancouver Community College (VCC) on January 24, 2020. He first joined VCC in May 2019 as Vice-President, Enterprise and International Development, and entered the role of interim president in September 2019.
Ajay came to us with more than 17 years of post-secondary experience, and has consistently distinguished himself for his strategic leadership and for his inspiration and support for students, employees, and the whole community.
Prior to joining VCC, Ajay served as Vice President, External Development at Langara College. In that position, he was responsible for Langara’s College Advancement and the Langara Foundation, as well as for Communications and Marketing, Continuing Studies, Institutional Research, and International Education.
Born in Fiji, Ajay moved to Canada in 1975 at age 6, and grew up in East Vancouver. He graduated from VCC’s Human Kinetics program in 1992, and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Human Kinetics from the University of British Columbia.
Following his education, Ajay had a distinguished and award-winning career in British Columbia’s amateur and competitive sports community. Ajay was Chief Executive Officer first of Badminton BC then Gymnastic BC, and for 12 years he served as Chef de Mission of Team BC for the Canada Winter and Summer Games. During this period, Ajay also served on the Sport BC Board, the BC Recreation and Parks Association, Vancouver Sport for Life, the Vancouver Active Communities Network Steering Committee, the BC Athlete Voice Board of Directors, the Coaching Association of British Columbia, the 2010 BC Wheelchair Basketball World Championships Bid Committee, the British Columbia Sport and Recreation Leadership Council, and as a director for SBC Insurance. Additionally, Ajay was the Chair for the Vancouver Sport Strategy and sat on the City of Vancouver Healthy City for All Leadership Table.
In 2001, Ajay moved into the post-secondary world as a Kinesiology instructor at Langara College, where he rose through a series of increasingly influential positions over the next two decades. These included Chair of the Kinesiology Department, Division Chair in Health Sciences, Dean of International Education, Associate Vice President, International and External Development and, finally, Vice President, External Development.
As a provincial leader in the international education sector, Ajay played a key role in securing the University Mobility in Asia Pacific (UMAP) International Secretariat at VCC from 2021 to 2026. Ajay also serves as the Board Chair, Canadian Bureau for International Education and was honoured with the BC Council for International Education Distinguished Leadership Award in 2019. He now serves on the College and Institutes of Canada’s International Advisory Committee and the Creative Technology Education Committee for DigiBC. Ajay has received numerous other awards including the City of Vancouver Parks and Recreation’s Volunteer of the Year, the Sport BC President’s Award, and the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant award in 2021. Most recently, Ajay was appointed to the Multicultural Advisory Council of BC. The role of the Advisory Council is to advise the Minister of Attorney General on issues respecting anti-racism and multiculturalism.
At VCC, one of Ajay’s priorities is to lead the college into a promising future by implementing the Strategic Innovation Plan, including a Campus Master Plan designed to guide VCC’s development over the next 10 years.