John Dunlap
John Dunlap. Photo courtesy of SeaWorld

John Dunlap, a former executive at the San Diego Zoo, has been appointed park president for SeaWorld & Aquatica San Diego

He succeeds Marilyn Hannes, who was promoted to the new role of senior vice president of strategic relationships for the parent company, Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

SeaWorld said Dunlap has a “passion for animal conservation” and “a proven history of developing world-class, thrilling, meaningful and educational experiences” for park audiences.

Dunlap was executive director of the San Diego Zoo from 2008 to 2013 and then joined Iconic Attractions Group as president and CEO. His projects for Iconic included the redevelopment and opening of the Dubai Safari Park and the transformation of the Jungle Island theme park in Miami.

Before his time in theme parks and zoos, Dunlap held multiple leadership roles within the hospitality industry culminating as manager of the Westin St. Francis Hotel on Union Square in San Francisco, where he led the redevelopment of the legendary property.

Dunlap holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of Virginia as well as an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.