James J. Donelon

James J. Donelon


(Secretary, Southeast Zone)

Mailing Address

Louisiana Department of Insurance
P.O. Box 94214
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9214

Phone: (225) 342-5900

Fax: (225) 342-8622

Street Address

Louisiana Department of Insurance
1702 N 3rd Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

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James J. Donelon has served as Insurance Commissioner for the State of Louisiana since 2006. He has been elected and re-elected five times, making him the longest-serving insurance commissioner in Louisiana history, and currently is the second longest-serving insurance commissioner in the nation.

During Donelon’s 15 years in office, he has overseen Louisiana’s recovery from the devastating hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and recently, the state’s worst hurricane season ever with five named storms making landfall in Louisiana. He has sought to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency of insurance regulation, and to protect consumers by strengthening markets and improving consumer choice. Under his watch, 32 new homeowners insurance companies have started doing business in Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina.

Donelon served as President of the NAIC in 2013, becoming the first commissioner from Louisiana to hold that honor. He remains active in the NAIC and currently serves on its Executive (EX) Committee and as chair of the Surplus Lines (C) Task Force, chair of the Receivership and Insolvency (E) Task Force, and co-vice chair of the Climate and Resiliency (EX) Task Force.

Born in New Orleans, Donelon received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Orleans and earned his J.D. from the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.

Donelon was first elected to public office in 1975 when he became chairman of the Jefferson Parish Council. From 1981 to 2001 he served in the Louisiana House of Representatives, where he rose to the position of Chairman of the Committee on Insurance. Donelon joined the staff of the Louisiana Department of Insurance in 2001, serving as executive counsel and chief deputy commissioner before assuming office as Insurance Commissioner in February 2006. His public service career also includes 33 years in the Louisiana Army National Guard, where he retired with the rank of Colonel and received the prestigious Legion of Merit medal.

He and his wife Merilynn reside in Jefferson Parish. They have four daughters, six granddaughters and two grandsons.

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