Robert Irwin “Ric” Cusick received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Louisville in Kentucky in 1965 and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law in 1968. After that, he served as a Navy JAG officer, working initially in the headquarters office of the Judge Advocate General, and then at sea as the Legal Officer of the attack aircraft carrier USS America. In 1972, Cusick returned to Louisville, remaining affiliated with the Naval Reserve, and retiring as a Captain in 1998, after serving in Washington, Annapolis, and Iceland. In 1993 he launched a legal career as a civilian with Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP, retiring as a partner when he was confirmed by the Senate to be Director of USOGE.
In 2005 lobbyist Gordon Hunter Bates, of Bates Capital Group suggested that Cusick contribute to the reelection campaign of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). Cusick did so and McConnell recommended Cusick for the job of director of the Office of Government Ethics. In February 2006, President Bush nominated Cusick to the position. He was confirmed by the Senate on May 26, 2006.