Guiding Principles International Reach

Every member of our team has been selected for their proven track record, their commitment to quality, their sense of urgency and their excellence in client service, all which help differentiate Kinley & Connelly in the leadership service field. With our dedicated research personnel, an industry-leading database and our network of contacts across North America and Europe, the firm is structured to provide the very best in consultation, diagnosis and leadership solutions.

In short, we are the leadership tailors who can deliver the custom fit your organization needs now -- whether it be search, assessment, interim services, board consultations or transition management.

Our Partners
Our founding partners are R. David Kinley (Chief Executive Officer) and Heather Connelly (President), both veterans of the North American search industry.

Contact us today to learn more.

  • David Kinley
David Kinley

David, Chief Executive Officer at Kinley & Connelly, is a fast-moving veteran of the private equity world who understands the skills required in successful growth companies in a variety of industries.

Long associated with fast paced communities in the U.S. and Canada, David is a former Board Member and Managing Partner of Christian & Timbers, the world's largest technology-based executive search firm. His experience additionally encompasses work in Asia and Europe. He is also a former search partner and practice leader at The Caldwell Partners.

David's recent experience recruiting leadership and working with Boards in the U.S., Canada and Asia-Pacific include companies in both pre- and post-IPO stages. From his extensive network of world class contacts in North America, he fully understands the leadership needs of fast-moving sectors.

As a member of the Leadership Advisory Board, University of Toronto, David keeps his finger on the pulse of evolving leadership and governance issues and grasps the significant changes associated with leadership change.

"Successful leadership search and placement begins with complete diagnostics of the company in its market cycle and of its personality," he states. "Such change must be accompanied by advance planning and a clear transition plan post-appointment to enhance its success for the organization and for the new executive."

A recent graduate of the Corporate Governance Program at University of Toronto's Rotman School of Business, David is a member of the Commercialization Committee for Robarts Research Institute, Canada's premiere research institute split off from the University of Western Ontario. He is also a founder of "Emagine", a not-for-profit public fund.

David can be reached at

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  • Heather Connelly
Heather Connelly

Heather, President of Kinley & Connelly, is one of Canada's most respected leadership search executives. Known for her "high touch" style in her relationships with clients and candidates, she has spent much of her career dealing with the complex processes associated with change at the senior executive and board level and the transition strategies required.

A former Partner at Heidrick & Struggles, she led the Public Sector and Leadership Services practices in Canada. She is a former Partner of both Caldwell Partners and KPMG. She has been assessing and evaluating leadership talent for over 20 years.

"The most significant change an organization can make is changing its senior leadership. To accomplish such change successfully requires a clear consensus of the mandate and objectives for the new leadership", she says. "This requires that transition planning commence before the search process and continue after a new appointment is made. Prescription without diagnosis and follow-up is malpractice."

Heather is Vice Chair and former Chair of the Learning Partnership (a partnership between public education and business), and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Change Foundation and VON Canada Foundation. Among her other community activities are the Governance Committees of Wellspring and The Learning Partnership. Heather is also a coach for the Executive Director Institute, co-sponsored by the Maytree Foundation and York University.

Heather is a frequent speaker on Board Governance and Leadership Transition.

A graduate of Dalhousie University, Heather has lived and worked across Canada -- Alberta, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Ontario. She has built a strong network of senior contacts across the country.

Heather can be reached at