T helper (Th) 2 cells selectively express IL-21 in addition to the classic Th2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13. In contrast to these clustered Th2 cell cytokine genes, the IL-21 gene resides on a different chromosome and is not coordinately regulated by the same locus control region that directs the expression of other Th2 cytokines. We demonstrate that the proximal promoter of IL-21 controls its Th-cell-subset-specific expression through the action of NFATc2 and T-bet. Whereas NFATc2 directly binds to and activates transcription of the IL-21 promoter in Th2 cells, T-bet represses IL-21 transcription by inhibiting the binding of NFATc2 to the promoter in Th1 cells. These data suggest that there are multiple mechanisms by which Th-cell-subset-specific cytokine genes are regulated.