A new rotary normal stress electromagnetic actuator for fast steering mirror (FSM) is presented. The study includes concept design, actuating torque modeling, actuator design, and validation with numerical simulation. To achieve an FSM with compact structure and high bandwidth, the actuator is designed with a cross armature magnetic topology. By introducing bias flux generated by four permanent magnets (PMs), the actuator has high-force density similar to a solenoid but also has essentially linear characteristics similar to a voice coil actuator, leading to a simply control algorithm. The actuating torque output is a linear function of both driving current and rotation angle and is formulated with equivalent magnetic circuit method. To improve modeling accuracy, both the PM flux and coil flux leakages are taken into consideration through finite element simulation. Based on the established actuator model, optimal design of the actuator is presented to meet the requirement of our FSM. Numerical simulation is then presented to validate the concept design, established actuator model, and designed actuator. It is shown that the calculated results are in a good agreement with the simulation results.