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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


09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

How well is the state’s public school system really performing?

One national survey ranks Louisiana as 49th for academic achievement of public school students. Another national report ranks the state dead last. So, how well is the state’s public school system really performing? Where is there room for improvement? What will the new federal “Every Student Succeeds Act” mean for education in Louisiana? And how have the historic summer floods changed things? Louisiana Public Square explores these issues and more on “Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. on LPB HD and in New Orleans on WLAE.

The panelists are
• Superintendent Michael Faulk, Central Community School System
• James D. Garvey, Jr. , BESE Board President
• Scott Richard, Executive Director, Louisiana School Boards Association
• Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith, D- Baton Rouge; House Education Committee

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and LSU Manship School of Mass Communication professor Robert Mann host the show. The program features interviews with Louisiana Education State Superintendent John White; Debbie Meaux, President of the Louisiana Association of Educators; Brigitte Nieland with the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and Caddo Parish School Superintendent Dr. Theodis Lamar Goree.

“Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System” 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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Special Presentation


05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

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Coming Soon!


10/16 - Election 2016

What concerns are on citizens’ minds as they go to the polls this fall?

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»»» View all Topics!
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