High expression of the transcription factor ZFX is correlated with proliferation, tumorigenesis, and patient survival in multiple types of human cancers. However, the mechanism by which ZFX influences transcriptional regulation has not been determined. We performed ChIP-seq in four cancer cell lines (representing kidney, colon, prostate, and breast cancers) to identify ZFX binding sites throughout the human genome. We identified roughly 9000 ZFX binding sites and found that most of the sites are in CpG island promoters. Moreover, genes with promoters bound by ZFX are expressed at higher levels than genes with promoters not bound by ZFX. To determine if ZFX contributes to regulation of the promoters to which it is bound, we performed RNA-seq analysis after knockdown of ZFX by siRNA in prostate and breast cancer cells. Many genes with promoters bound by ZFX were down-regulated upon ZFX knockdown, supporting the hypothesis that ZFX acts as a transcriptional activator. Surprisingly, ZFX binds at +240 bp downstream from the TSS of the responsive promoters. Using Nucleosome Occupancy and Methylome Sequencing (NOMe-seq), we show that ZFX binds between the open chromatin region at the TSS and the first downstream nucleosome, suggesting that ZFX may play a critical role in promoter architecture. We have also shown that a closely related zinc finger protein ZNF711 has a similar binding pattern at CpG island promoters, but ZNF711 may play a subordinate role to ZFX. This functional characterization of ZFX provides important new insights into transcription, chromatin structure, and the regulation of the cancer transcriptome.