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Canada Learning Code welcomes new CEO


Rekha Rao-Mayya, passionate problem solver and coder at heart, joins Canada Learning Code as our new CEO

This year marks 11 years that Canada Learning Code (CLC) co-founder and outgoing CEO Melissa Sariffodeen has served this community from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Now, she hands over the position to Rekha Rao-Mayya, who officially takes over as CEO on Nov. 23.

Sariffodeen’s work as CEO for the past nine years has brought our national charity to significant heights. 

With her leadership, CLC generated almost one million meaningful technology learning experiences, launched 35 chapter communities in cities around Canada, got a fleet of Code Mobiles on the road and created the Pan-Canadian K-12 Computer Science Framework, shaping computer science education in classrooms around the country. 

While Sariffodeen will always be proud to be one of CLC’s co-founders and early builders, CLC has matured as an organization and is entering a new phase. The next part of our story will require a strong, seasoned and experienced CEO to chart the path forward through this next phase of our organization’s life.

Introducing Rekha Rao-Mayya

Rekha Rao-Mayya officially takes on this incredible role starting on Nov. 23. Rao-Mayya brings an engineering degree in Computer Science, a problem-solving mind, a lifelong learner spirit and a collaborative attitude. And she is known to implement big ideas. 

Her career spans several decades at organizations like Microsoft, Oracle and most recently, Amazon AWS, where she and her teams worked to help Canadian organizations migrate to the Cloud and modernize their businesses.

“I landed in Canada in 1996 and had $2.25 in my pocket. But I did have an incredible education. And I knew a couple of languages. Languages that didn’t care if I had an accent or not. Some of you might know them. Java and C++. Yes, coder here. Coder at heart.”

—Rekha Rao-Mayya

She loves to build diverse, impactful, fun-loving teams. She finds joy in supporting STEM education for girls and providing forums that support, sponsor and nurture other women through her involvement in organizations like STEM Advisory Council, Ontario Tech University and Women in Communications and Technology (WCT)

“I wouldn’t be here today If it wasn’t that investment in digital skilling, that investment in computer science that was made in me. I’m so looking forward to paying forward that investment with the incredible work done by CLC.”

Oh, and did you know she’s even been a speaker at one of our in-person TeacherCons!?

As CLC begins a new chapter, Rao-Mayya has been tasked with the exciting opportunity to work across all of our team, volunteers, learners and other stakeholders to deliver on our vision — a prosperous Canada in which all people have the skills and confidence to harness the power of technology to create a better and more inclusive future.

Although Sariffodeen’s last day as CEO is Nov. 23, she said she would forever be part of this community and CLC’s biggest supporter and fan.

“Our work has only ever been possible because of the generosity, passion, and commitment of hundreds of team members, volunteers, funders, and partners. I can’t thank each and every one of you enough.” she said.

“Leading CLC has been the honour of a lifetime, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds”

— Melissa Sariffodeen

As outgoing CEO Sariffodeen hands over the torch, Rao-Mayya steps in with confidence and big ideas. Welcome to Canada Learning Code, Rekha Rao-Mayya. It’s Code Time, Go Time!

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