Bacterial chromosome replication is regulated from a single replication origin (ori) that receives cell cycle signals. Following replication, bacteria often use the parABS partition system with a centromere-like parS locus to place the chromosomes into the daughter cells. Our knowledge of cell cycle regulation is incomplete and we searched for novel regulators of chromosome replication. Here we show that in the cell cycle model Caulobacter crescentus a novel DNA-binding protein promotes both the initiation of chromosome replication and the earliest step of chromosome partitioning. We used biochemical fractionation to identify a protein (OpaA) that preferentially binds to mutated ori DNA that also increases ori-plasmid replication in vivo. OpaA represents a previously unknown class of DNA-binding proteins. opaA gene expression is essential and sufficient OpaA levels are required for the correct timing of chromosome replication. Whole genome ChIP-seq identified the genomic binding sites for OpaA, with the strongest associations at the parABS locus near ori. Using molecular-genetic and fluorescence microscopy experiments, we showed that OpaA also promotes the first step of chromosome partitioning, the initial separation of the duplicated parS loci following ori replication. This separation occurs before the parABS mechanism and it coincides with the regulatory step that splits the symmetry of the chromosomes so that they are placed at distinct cell-poles which develop into replicating and non-replicating cell-types. We propose that OpaA coordinates replication with the poorly understood mechanism of early chromosome separation. opaA lethal suppressor and antibiotic experiments argue that future studies be focused on the mechanistic roles for transcription and translation at this critical step of the cell cycle.