The Dallas Zoo Reopens Hippo Habitat Thanks To James Dondero

In 1984, after completing his studies at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and receiving his Bachelor of Science Degrees in Accounting and Finance, James Dondero started his journey in the finance world at JP Morgan Chase & Co. Visit to know more about James. With his work on the financial training program at JP Morgan, it was not long before James found himself in his dream job at American Express. James was responsible for the management of one billion dollars worth of fixed income funds from 1985 to 1989 where he stepped into a new role as Chief Investment Officer at Protective Life’s GIC Subsidiary. It was not until 1993 that James Dondero created his investment firm, Highland Capital Management, where it did not take long to earn him the title of one of the leading alternative credit manager’s in the world.


James wanted to do more with his success and co-created the Highland Dallas Foundation with friend and colleague, Mary Jalonick, the President and Ceo of The Dallas Foundation in Texas. The Highland Dallas Foundation holds their focus primarily on the Northern city’s of Texas, including Dallas, where James Dondero resides. A recent example of the generosity of the Highland Dallas Foundation is the one million dollar donation that James Dondero gave to the Dallas Zoo to reopen their sorely missed hippo exhibit. The habitat was closed nearly two decades ago in 2001 when Zoo management made the heart-wrenching decision to shut down the habitat after the loss of their beloved hippo, Papa. Now, thanks to the donations from James Dondero and several other philanthropists in the area, the Dallas Zoo acquired the fourteen million dollars needed to reopen the hippopotamus habitat. With two full acres to roam, the new residents of the Dallas Zoo, Adhama, and Boipelo live peacefully in their new home at the Outpost. The habitat is also home to the Highland Capital Lodge, a facility that can be rented out by visitors to host private events at the zoo. Without the help of philanthropists like James Dondero and Mary Jalonick, organizations like the Dallas Zoo might not be able to support the needs of their neighborhoods, and for that, we thank them! Visit to know more about James Dondero.

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