snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College’s executive leadership team (ELT) is comprised of several senior leaders who provide strategic and operational oversight. As a team, the president and vice presidents, are guided by the College’s strategic priorities. Langara College’s ELT has strong expertise and experience in the higher education sector and is passionate about creating an exceptional student experience at Langara College.


Dr. Paula Burns, President and CEO

Dr. Paula Burns is Langara College's fourth president and CEO. With over 25 years of experience in higher education, Paula has demonstrated innovation in leadership that prioritizes diversity and inclusivity, collaboration and community building, and the ability to cultivate a progressive, positive, and welcoming culture.  

Paula has established herself as an active leader locally, provincially, and nationally. She is committed to advancing education and creating a safe and respectful learning environment for students, faculty, and staff.  

Paula is also the board chair of Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). She previously served on their National Indigenous Education Advisory Committee as the governance committee chair who developed CICan's Indigenous Education Protocol.  

Paula has a Respiratory Therapy diploma from Fanshawe College, a B.Sc. from the University of Waterloo, a M.Ed. from Central Michigan University, a Ph.D. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education/University of Toronto, and an MBA from Royal Roads University.  


Dr. Pouyan Mahboubi, Provost and Vice-President, Academic

Dr. Mahboubi brings over 25 years of experience as a post-secondary leader and educator in British Columbia. He has effectively developed strategic plans through collaborative, local, national, and international partnerships at several academic institutions. 

Dr. Mahboubi previously served as the Associate Vice‐President of Academics and Vice‐Provost and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Capilano University, and was the Dean of Instruction, Department Coordinator of Applied Coastal Ecology, and University Instructor at Coast Mountain College. 

Dr. Mahboubi holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Northern BC, a Doctoral Certificate in Human Health and Environmental Risk Assessment from the University of Saskatchewan, an M.Sc. in Environmental Biology from the University of Guelph, and a B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia. 


Yusuf Varachia, Vice-President, External Relations and Community Engagement

Yusuf Varachia joined Langara College in 2020 as the Vice-President, External Relations and Community Engagement. He brings over 18 years of experience working in the Canadian educational sector. 

Before joining Langara, Yusuf was the Director of Global Engagement at Simon Fraser University, enhancing their domestic and international profile through strategic management of partnerships and visitors. Yusuf also previously worked with the Student Services portfolio at the University of British Columbia. 

Yusuf has designed programs to recruit and retain diverse student populations and ensure students are represented within educational institutions. He has a proven track record of working with multiple stakeholders, including students, faculty, alumni, and government, to create innovative programming and strengthen communities. 

Yusuf holds a master of arts degree focusing on Indigeneity, diversity, and social equity from Simon Fraser University, a bachelor of education degree from OISE/University of Toronto, and a bachelor of arts degree from McMaster University. 


Michael Koke, Vice-President, Administration and Finance

Michael serves as Langara College's Vice-President, Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer. He started at Langara College in 2016, filling various roles with escalating responsibilities. He oversees the College's business management and planning, supporting various departments in the administration and Financial Services portfolio. 

Michael has extensive experience ensuring compliance with provincial government requirements for Crown corporations. Previously, he held several leadership roles in finance in both the private and public sectors. Before joining Langara, he was the chief financial officer of the Corporation of the District of West Vancouver. 

Michael holds a Financial Management diploma from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and is a Chartered Professional Accountant. 



Jane Mason, Vice-President, People and Culture

Jane Mason joined Langara College as the Vice-President of People and Culture in 2019. 

She has over 30 years of human resource experience in the post-secondary, hospitality, recreation, and health sectors. She has overseen a broad team of experts in policy development, strategic advisory services, organizational change, leadership development, EDI, respectful workplace, mental health support and well-being, workforce optimization, recruitment, and human rights. 

With a strong interest and desire to advance programs and services that support a culture of inclusion, respect, and belonging, Jane actively champions and leads support for well-being and mental health in the workplace.  

Jane completed a three year term as the elected chair of the Post-Secondary Employers’ Association’s Standing Committee on HR Practices in September 2023. She has chaired and been a member of several provincial and local bargaining tables, contributing to the successful renegotiation of many collective agreements.