People Shape

Vanessa de Samamé

About Vanessa

Vanessa is a co-founder of Hedley May in the US and specializes in placing senior Legal, Compliance and Regulatory leaders at major financial and professional services and large corporate clients.

Contact Vanessa on tel: +1 646 666 9397 or


With over 20 years of top-level executive search experience in both New York and London, Vanessa has advised on recruitment, talent planning and organizational development across multiple executive leadership functions. Her prior career in commercial banking shapes her perspective on the intricate but important relationship between corporate functional officers and their business counterparts.

Vanessa is particularly interested in assessing how senior talent adapt to new corporate environments and cultures. She also cares deeply about fostering an internal sense of belonging and how organizations create and evolve inclusive corporate philosophies and practices. She is keen to nurture staff development, while also continually learning from a fresh perspective. Vanessa also believes it is essential to tackle each day with humor and humility.

A former professional ballerina, Vanessa learned the importance to pivot, adapt and be resilient when an injury brought her dreams of an artistic career to an end at the age of 21. This life lesson, hard work and discipline have served her well to this day.

Originally from Belgium, she worked in Germany, Spain and the UK before relocating to the US in 2003. Vanessa has a BA in German and Spanish from the University of London.

Our People

Hedley May is the power of its people. We work hard to create a culture in which everyone feels valued, are supported to thrive, and can live the values we believe in. We know the search for great people is driven by great people.

The Belonging Project

We launched the Belonging Project, conducting over 100 interviews globally with a diverse range of people. Our research reaffirmed our core belief: organizations that create a strong sense of Belonging are more successful – in business, employee satisfaction and longevity. Belonging is the proven cornerstone of success.


When we founded Hedley May, we made a commitment to make a positive impact on our broader communities. We focus on providing opportunity to the underserved through mentorship, internships, workshops and other career development initiatives. We are also dedicated advocates and supporters of numerous social mobility programs.