The zinc-finger transcription factor GATA-3 has received much attention as a master regulator of T helper 2 (Th2) cell differentiation, during which it controls interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, and IL-13 expression. More recently, GATA-3 was shown to contribute to type 2 immunity through regulation of group 2 innate lymphoid cell (ILC2) development and function. Furthermore, during thymopoiesis, GATA-3 represses B cell potential in early T cell precursors, activates TCR signaling in pre-T cells, and promotes the CD4(+) T cell lineage after positive selection. GATA-3 also functions outside the thymus in hematopoietic stem cells, regulatory T cells, CD8(+) T cells, thymic natural killer cells, and ILC precursors. Here we discuss the varied functions of GATA-3 in innate and adaptive immune cells, with emphasis on its activity in T cells and ILCs, and examine the mechanistic basis for the dose-dependent, developmental-stage-and cell-lineage-specific activity of this transcription factor.