O'Rourke held management positions in both Northern and Southern California cities before serving most recently as a consultant with the Public Alternative Retirement System. He was also an interim city manager of the city of Stockton in 2010 and the city of Woodland in 2011-2012.
He also held interim city manager posts for Buena Park and Stanton in the 80s and 90s, and he was the city manager for Fairfield for more than 10 years before retiring in 2007.
Also, he is a past president of the League of California Cities City Manager Department and a past member of the League's Board of Directors.
In a news release, Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido said O'Rourke's extensive experience will benefit the city, which is amid numerous development and transportation projects.