Kusatsu, who has had roles in such movies as "American Pie" and TV shows such as "The Young and the Restless," was supported by the Unite for Strength group that dominates the national board.
He fended off a challenge from John Tremaine, who is part of Membership First, a group that opposed last year's merger of the formerly separate actors unions.
Kusatsu will serve a two-year term as head of the largest local within the SAG-AFTRA union, which represents more than 165,000 actors and other performers.
"I'm extremely pleased so many members expressed their support for my leadership,'' Kusatsu said in a statement. "I'm grateful for their vote of confidence and look forward to serving as president of SAG-AFTRA's largest local. I'm excited to play an even greater role in strengthening our union and I'm counting on Los Angeles members to join me in that effort."
In New York,
was elected for another term as president of that city's local, narrowly defeating Roberta Reardon, who had been the national co-president of SAG-AFTRA.
, national president of SAG-AFTRA, had endorsed Hodges for the post.
"I want to express my sincere thanks to all the members who made their voices heard by voting in our historic first SAG-AFTRA election," Hodges said. "It was a vigorous campaign and I'm grateful that N.Y. members have elected me to lead our local."