Recombination activating gene 1 (RAG1) and RAG2 are critical enzymes for initiating variable-diversity-joining [V(D)J] segment recombination, an essential process for antigen receptor expression and lymphocyte development. The BCL11A transcription factor is required for B cell and plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC) development, but its molecular function(s) in early B cell fate specification and commitment is unknown. We show here that the major B cell isoform, BCL11A-XL, binds directly to the RAG1 promoter as well as directly to regulatory regions of transcription factors previously implicated in both B cell and pDC development to activate RAG1 and RAG2 gene transcription in pro- and pre-B cells. We employed BCL11A overexpression with recombination substrates to demonstrate direct consequences of BCL11A/RAG modulation on V(D)J recombination. We conclude that BCL11A is a critical component of a transcriptional network that regulates B cell fate by controlling V(D)J recombination.