Hap Fatzinger Headshot

Hap Fatzinger

Director, North Carolina Aquariums Division

Hap Fatzinger was named director of the North Carolina Aquariums Division in January 2024. Fatzinger brings more than 25 years’ experience in North Carolina Aquariums to the position, including having served as director of the Fort Fisher Aquarium from 2019-23. Fatzinger built his career at the aquarium, starting as a volunteer and moving up the ranks during his initial 18-year tenure at the Kure Beach destination. The last 13 of those years he oversaw the care of thousands of animals as the Aquarium Curator.

In 2015, Fatzinger left Fort Fisher to become the director of the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, and successfully led that team for nearly four years before returning to Fort Fisher as its director in 2019. During his tenure at Fort Fisher, he helped grow the organization from a small, local attraction to a nationally recognized aquarium.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marine biology from the University of the Virgin Islands.

Fatzinger serves on several committees of the international Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) including program leader for Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE), Sharks and Rays; chair of the Aquatic Sustainability Committee; and member of the Advisory Committee for Aquarium Affairs.