James Dondero is a Dallas based philanthropist and president of Highland Capital Management. He cofounded Highland Capital Management in 1990 while partnering with Mark Okada. He has used his success to give to several worthy charities dedicated to causes like education, zoos, and victims of family violence.
Dondero began his career in 1984 as an analyst but soon worked his way up. He graduated from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce with degrees in finance and accounting and is a certified Financial Analyst and a certified Management Accountant. He has worked at American Express in many capacities from analyst to Portfolio Manager for $1 billion in fixed income funds. After leaving American Express, he became the Chief Investment Officer of Protective Life’s GIV subsidiary. Under Dondero, the worth of the company grew to $2 billion.
His tastes in philanthropy are varied. Dondero has donated a million to The Family Place, an organization dedicated to helping the families of domestic violence escape and heal. Highland Capital has donated $1 million to the Dallas Zoo to build a special education center. Dondero has donated to the Perot Natural Science2 Museum. He has also donated significant funds to the Education is Freedom program, which helps at risk youth achieve their dream of attending college through prep programs and mentoring. He has also donated funds to Uplift Education, a program focused on improving public school education in poor areas and increasing college attendance from these schools.
James Dondero is both a brilliant financial investor and a man committed to investing in the most important asset, the education of our youth.