James Raley is a principal in Heidrick & Struggles’ Dubai office and a member of Heidrick Consulting. His client work ranging from executive assessments in the UAE to high impact leadership development programmes in South Africa, extends to 60 countries across the EMEA region.


With more than 19 years of talent management experience, including 12 years with a leading consulting firms in the Middle East, James has helped organizations to select, identify, and nurture their top talent. Prior to joining Heidrick & Struggles, James was the regional commercial director for a talent consulting firm. He has led sizable relationships with clients in a wide variety of industries including the government & public sector, energy, financial services, transport & aviation, pharma, telecoms, automotive, hospitality and retail.

Taking on significant management responsibility from a young age, James has been recognized for his ability to mobilize large scale programmes. He has a special interest in people analytics, using data to provide deep insight into people and organizational behavior. He has a BPS qualification in occupational testing (ability & personality) and is a certified user of a wide range of psychometric instruments. He is also a certified Prince2 practitioner.


University of Northumbria in the United Kingdom, Bachelor’s Degree in International Business Studies and Spanish