Vice President, Engineering and Operations Committee, External and Legislative Affairs Committee
Dr. Justin McCusker was elected to the Board in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. He brings a diverse background as an executive in business, government and education to the Santa Margarita Water District Board of Directors.
A recognized executive-level business and policy strategist, Dr. McCusker serves as a Senior Executive with C.J. Segerstrom & Sons and South Coast Plaza, one of the largest commercial, retail, and residential property owners in Southern California. His background with executive level experience in strategic planning, government relations, external affairs, media and crisis communications has been equally balanced with leadership roles in the public and private sectors, non-profit arena, and academia. Dr. McCusker has also served on the faculty at California State University-Fullerton as an Adjunct Professor of Public Administration and at Saddleback College as an Associate Professor of Political Science.
Prior to his tenure with Segerstrom, he spent nearly a decade working in executive leadership roles in one of America’s largest metropolitan areas. This experience includes as Chief of Staff to the Chair of the County Board of Supervisors, media spokesperson for the sixth busiest airport in California, putting him at the forefront of the chaotic aftermath of airport/airline operations in a post September 11th world, and as a legislative advocate responsible for securing millions in federal appropriations to benefit Orange County and Southern California, by bringing our local tax dollars back from Washington, D.C. to benefit local residents.
Dr. McCusker is actively involved in his community and industry. He serves on a variety of local and regional organization boards, including the Orange County Taxpayers Association (Chairman 2015 & 2016), Orange County Parks Commission (Chairman 2013 & 2014), NAIOP SoCAL Chapter (Legislative Committee Chairman 2017-2019), California Business Properties Association, California Business Roundtable, Orange County Business Council (Executive Board and 2020 Legislative Committee Vice-Chairman) and formerly, the South Orange County Economic Coalition Executive Board.
Dr. McCusker received his Doctorate in Policy, Planning and Development from the University of Southern California, a Master’s (MPA) from California State University-Fullerton in Public Administration & Urban Management, and a Bachelor of Arts from Western Michigan University in Political Science.
Dr. McCusker is a resident of Rancho Santa Margarita where he lives with his wife, a local public-school teacher, and their four children. Both Justin and his wife have been very active in multiple local youth sports leagues, as volunteers and coaches.