Sirtuin 6, SIRT6, is critical for both glucose and lipid homeostasis and is involved in maintaining genomic stability under conditions of oxidative DNA damage such as those observed in age-related diseases. There is an intense search for modulators of SIRT6 activity, however, not many specific activators have been reported. Long acyl-chain fatty acids have been shown to increase the weak in vitro deacetylase activity of SIRT6 but this effect is modest at best. Herein we report that electrophilic nitro-fatty acids (nitro-oleic acid and nitro-conjugated linoleic acid) potently activate SIRT6. Binding of the nitro-fatty acid to the hydrophobic crevice of the SIRT6 active site exerted a moderate activation (2-fold at 20 mM), similar to that previously reported for non-nitrated fatty acids. However, covalent Michael adduct formation with Cys-18, a residue present at the N terminus of SIRT6 but absent from other isoforms, induced a conformational change that resulted in a much stronger activation (40-fold at 20 mM). Molecular modeling of the resulting Michael adduct suggested stabilization of the co-substrate and acyl-binding loops as a possible additional mechanism of SIRT6 activation by the nitro-fatty acid. Importantly, treatment of cells with nitro-oleic acid promoted H3K9 deacetylation, whereas oleic acid had no effect. Altogether, our results show that nitrated fatty acids can be considered a valuable tool for specific SIRT6 activation, and that SIRT6 should be considered as a molecular target for in vivo actions of these anti-inflammatory nitro-lipids.