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Board Members

John Stephens

John Stephens image

Mayor, City of Costa Mesa

Director John Stephens was elected to a two-year term as Mayor of Costa Mesa in November of 2022. Orange County's City Selection Committee selected Stephens as a city council representative to the OCTA Board of Directors in November 2023.

Director Stephens has served as Mayor since March of 2021, when he was directly appointed by the City Council to replace former Mayor Katrina Foley, whose seat was vacated when she was elected to the County Board of Supervisors to serve the Second District. Stephens was originally elected to the City Council on November, 2016 collecting the second highest number of votes in a field of seven candidates.

As a resident of Costa Mesa since 1989, Stephens has deep community ties and has served on the city's Pension Oversight Committee, the Costa Mesa High School Foundation, Costa Mesa for Responsible Government and is a founding member of the St. John the Baptist Finance and Pastoral Councils.

Stephens was the 2018 Chair of the Association of California Cities-Orange County Homelessness Task Force and is a member of the Orange County Library Advisory Board. He serves as Council Liaison to the Financial Pension Advisory Committee ("FiPAC"), the Animal Services Committee, the Special Districts (Sanitation, Water, and School), and the OC Fairgrounds. He is a founding member of the Costa Mesa Early Childhood Coalition.

Stephens was born in Pasadena and raised in San Gabriel and attended San Gabriel High School. He then earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing from Cal Poly Pomona, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1986. He received his law degree from the UC Davis Law School in 1989 and was named to the Order of the Coif (top 10%), Law Review and Trial Practice Honors Board.

A practicing trial attorney since 1989, his firm, Stephens Friedland LLP, employs four lawyers and nine employees. Stephens Friedland LLP was Veterans Legal Institute (VLI) Law Firm of the Year in 2019 and serves on VLI's Lawyers for Warriors Committee. He has given talks to the OC Bar Association on issues such as electronic discovery and witness preparation. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer, Best Lawyers of America and Top Attorneys in Orange County.

Director John Stephens coached either baseball, softball or basketball for 19 years and is proud that over 30 girls that he coached played high school softball and some played in college. He also served on the boards of the Costa Mesa American Little League and the Fountain Valley Girls Fastpitch Softball league for many years.