Speaker Detail:
James Cullens

2023 Speaker

James Cullens

Executive Vice President - Human Resources



James was appointed to the board of WS Atkins plc as Group Human Resources Director in 2014, one of the world’s leading design, engineering and project management consultancies. When W. S. Atkins plc was acquired in 2017 by SNC-Lavalin Inc. of Canada to form one of the world’s largest engineering companies, James joined the combined group’s Executive Committee as Executive Vice President for Human Resources. He has a strong interest in Indigenous Canada as acts as an ally to Indigenous colleagues within the business. He has taken courses in Indigenous Studies at the University of Alberta and has been heavily involved in the company’s PAR accreditation program and the development of a reconciliation plan. 

Prior to SNC-Lavalin he was Group Human Resources Director at Hays plc, The BOC Group plc, Linde AG, and PA Consulting Group. In 2008 he was appointed as a member of the Board of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), where he served for 6 years, and was appointed as a Chartered Companion of the CIPD in 2021. 

James currently works between London and Montréal and previously has lived and worked in the Former Soviet Union, Hong Kong and New Zealand. He has a B.A. and M.A. from Cambridge University, an M.Litt. from Otago University, an M.Sc. from the University of West London, and a B.Sc. from The Open University. He currently is Chairman of the Open University Business School’s International Advisory Board in the UK.

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