Murine and human CD4(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells expressing the Forkhead box p3 (Foxp3) transcription factor represent a distinct, highly differentiated CD4(+) T cell lineage that is programmed for dominant self-tolerance and control of immune responses against a variety of foreign antigens. Sustained Foxp3 expression in these cells drives the differentiation of a regulatory phenotype and ensures the stability of their suppressive functions under a variety of inflammatory settings. Some recent studies have challenged this premise and advanced the notion that Foxp3(+) Treg cells manifest a high degree of functional plasticity that enables them to adapt and reprogram into effector-like T cells in response to various inflammatory stimuli. The concept of Treg cell plasticity remains highly contentious, with a high degree of variation in measured plasticity potential observed under different experimental conditions. In this chapter, we propose a unifying model of Treg cell plasticity, which hypothesizes that the stable fates of regulatory and effector T (Teff) cell lineages allow transient plasticity into the alternative lineage under a discrete set of microenvironmental influences associated with, respectively, the initiation and resolution phases of infection. This model utilizes a theoretical framework consistent with the requirements for effective immune regulation and accounts for both the extraordinary long-term stability of Treg cells and the observed fate plasticity.