The benevolence of James Dondero of Highland Capital Management

James Dondero is the President and Co-Founder of Highland Capital Management, located in Dallas, TX. He has two Bachelor of Science degrees and he undertook his studies at the University of Virginia. Visit to know more about James.

Background information

He started working at JPMorgan Chase & Co in 1984. Afterwards, he landed his dream job at American Express. While there he managed $1 billion which consisted of fixed income between 1985 and 1989. In 1989, Mr. Dondero began working at Protective Life’s GIC branch as the chief investment officer. He transformed the original concept for the growing company into a $2 billion business.

In 1993, James Dondero began his own company. He named it Highland Capital Management. With its rate of success, it earned a reputation as one of the largest alternative credit managers in the United States and across the world. Highland Capital Management specializes in credit hedge funds, private equity accounts and a unique array of credit accounts.


James Dondero recently donated $1 million to Dallas Zoo hippopotamus habitat, after it closed down in 2001. Together with other local philanthropists, they donated $14 million to the cause. Mr. Dondero and his firm donated money to the Perot Museum of Natural Science and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Institute. He is involved in helping Uplift Education and the Snowball Express.

When starting his firm, one of Mr. Dondero’s goals was to be involved in philanthropic causes. Now, the firm has a business association with the President and CEO of The Dallas Foundation, Mary Jalonick. Mary has an experienced team committed initiatives focused on philanthropy. This relationship has led James to commit more than $3 million to his annual philanthropic budgets.


Together they founded Highland Dallas Foundation Inc. as a way to help him select charities. The foundation focuses on North Texas, supporting veterans, health care concerns, educational needs and various civic organizations. Throughout the year, James Dondero offers grants to support various organizations within the Dallas area.

Through Highland Capital Management, The Family Place, a shelter for men who are victims of domestic violence receives $1 million challenge grant. It is located in an area close to medical resources and features such as a 24-hour crisis hotline. Visit to know more about James Dondero.

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