James Dondero is currently the co-founder of Highland Capital Management, L.P., where he also serves as the president. He is also the president and chairman of NexPoint Residential Trust, Inc. In addition to these, Dondero serves other roles in various companies. He currently serves as the chairman of Cornerstone Healthcare Group Holding, Inc., CCS Medical, Inc., and NexBank Capital, Inc. Additionally, he sits on the boards of the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, MGM Holdings, Inc and Jernigan Capital, Inc. Before joining Highland, James Dondero worked in other companies where he held different positions. Dondero was the Chief Investment Officer at GIC subsidiary of Protective Life and also served at American Express as a portfolio manager and bond analyst.
For his education, James Dondero enrolled for a Bachelor of Science in Commerce (Accounting and Finance) at the University of Virginia. Not only is Dondero a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) but he is also a Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA). Over the years, he has earned the designation Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). James Dondero is skilled in portfolio management, fixed income, emerging markets, fund of funds, bonds, and derivatives. These skills together with more than 30 years of experience in equity and credit markets have come in handy at Highland. Under his leadership, Highland has advanced credit-oriented solutions for retailers and institutions globally.
When not at work, James Dondero engages in philanthropy. He sets aside approximately 3 million dollars annually to philanthropic ventures through the Highland Dallas Foundation Inc. The foundation supports civic organizations, educational needs, health care concerns and also supports veterans in the Dallas area. Additionally, through the foundation, Dondero supports The Family Place, a shelter for men who have fallen victim to domestic violence. When The Simmons Hippo Outpost needed $14 million to build, Dondero and his firm contributed $1 million towards the venture. This brought back hippos to Dallas after the Dallas Zoo hippo habitat closed down when “Papa” the hippo died in 2001. Many have hailed James Dondero as a hero, but to him, philanthropy is a calling which contributes to creating a bright future for everyone living in Dallas.