Prior to becoming Commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Insurance, James J. Donelon served the Department in leadership positions as chief deputy commissioner and executive counsel.
Donelon was born in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Jesuit High School, the University of New Orleans and Loyola School of Law. In 1986, he became the first recipient of the Homer L. Hitt Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award for the University of New Orleans.
Donelon retired as the state judge advocate for the Louisiana Army National Guard, where he held the rank of colonel and received the prestigious Legion of Merit medal, among many other citations, for his contributions during his 33 years of military service.
In 1975, Donelon was the elected Jefferson Parish Council chairman and, from 1981 to 2001, he represented Jefferson Parish in the Louisiana House of Representatives, where he rose to the leadership positions of chairman of the Committee on Insurance and co-chairman of the Republican Legislative Delegation. In 2001, Donelon joined the staff of the Louisiana Department of Insurance. He currently serves as the NAIC vice president.
Donelon is the Vice President of the National Association Of Insurance Commissioners and presently serves on the board of directors of Hope Haven Boys Home, Friends Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the Blood Center for Southeast Louisiana.
Donelon is married to the former Merilynn Boudreaux. They reside in Jefferson Parish and are the parents of four daughters and the grandparents of five granddaughters and one grandson.
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