Ribosomal DNA (rDNA) consists of highly repeated sequences that are prone to incurring damage. Delays or failure of rDNA double-strand break (DSB) repair are deleterious, and can lead to rDNA transcriptional arrest, chromosomal translocations, genomic losses, and cell death. Here, we show that the zinc-finger transcription factor GLI1, a terminal effector of the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway, is required for the repair of rDNA DSBs. We found that GLI1 is activated in triple-negative breast cancer cells in response to ionizing radiation (IR) and localizes to rDNA sequences in response to both global DSBs generated by IR and site-specific DSBs in rDNA. Inhibiting GLI1 interferes with rDNA DSB repair and impacts RNA polymerase I activity and cell viability. Our findings tie Hh signaling to rDNA repair and this heretofore unknown function may be critically important in proliferating cancer cells.