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Monday, August 29, 2016
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Panelist Bio


Jim Donelon
Commissioner, Louisiana Department of Insurance

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.


Current Topic


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?

Due to severe flooding in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities, the recording of “Black & The Blue,” which was to be the August episode of Louisiana Public Square, was cancelled. Instead we will be broadcasting an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference.” More information, including broadcast dates and times, is below.

“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference”
Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through Southeast Louisiana, triggering what would become the nation’s costliest disaster. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita inundated Southwest Louisiana forever altering the landscape. The storms uprooted residents, while the rest of Louisiana and its neighboring states welcomed them with open arms.
What affect did the storms have on economic development along the I-10 corridor? Just over a decade later, how have public services changed? How prepared is Louisiana to handle hurricane evacuees? And how did the hurricanes change the demographics of the state?
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 11 a.m. on LPB HD.

The panelists are:
· Andy Kopplin, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
· Paul Rainwater, Rainwater Consulting, LLC
· Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
· Nihal Shrinath, The Data Center

The program includes interviews with Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana; Chris Guilbeaux, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Data Center; John White, State Superintendent of Education; and Christopher Bohnstengel and “Byrdie” Lane, owners of Byrdie’s Gallery and Café in New Orleans.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., who served in the Blanco administration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, moderate the discussion.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” will also air in New Orleans, on WLAE. It can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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