Widespread interest in global health issues is a common characteristic of students and faculty in schools of public health and schools of medicine. Building on strong university-based and community-based programs in global health, the University of Washington has created a unique Department of Global Health that is housed jointly in its School of Public Health and Community Medicine and its School of Medicine. The creation of this department has generated significant enthusiasm throughout the university and the Seattle community as a new paradigm for addressing global health education, research, and service. Placing the new Department of Global Health in two university schools and finding the appropriate niche for the department among the university’s many global health initiatives presented challenges, as well as opportunities. This article describes the goals of the department, the process by which it was created, and what it expects to accomplish.