James Raley is a principal in Heidrick & Struggles’ Dubai office and a member of the global Financial Services Practice, focusing on the insurance, payments & lending, and real estate sectors across the Middle East. He provides both executive search and leadership consulting services.


With more than 20 years of talent management experience, including 14 years with leading consulting firms in the Middle East, James has helped organisations to select, identify, and nurture their top talent.

Prior to joining Heidrick & Struggles, James was the regional general manager of a leadership advisory firm.

James specializes in assessing and placing corporate officers and CHROs. He has led sizable client relationships extending to 60 countries across the EMEA region. His executive assessment projects help organizations to select best-fit talent and support the development of thousands of local and expatriate leaders across the GCC.

Taking on significant management responsibility from a young age, James has been recognized for his ability to mobilize large-scale programs. He has a special interest in people analytics, using data to provide deep insight into people and organizational behavior.


Northumbria University, UK, Bachelor’s Degree in International Business Studies and Spanish, with Honors

Bristol Management Center, Prince2 Practitioner

BPP, IMC Investment Management Certificate

BPS Qualification in Occupational Testing