Mbd3, a member of nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase (NuRD) co-repressor complex, was previously identified as an inhibitor for deterministic induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming, where up to 100% of donor cells successfully complete the process. NuRD can assume multiple mutually exclusive conformations, and it remains unclear whether this deterministic phenotype can be attributed to a specific Mbd3/NuRD subcomplex. Moreover, since complete ablation of Mbd3 blocks somatic cell proliferation, we aimed to explore functionally relevant alternative ways to neutralize Mbd3-dependent NuRD activity. We identify Gatad2a, a NuRD-specific subunit, whose complete deletion specifically disrupts Mbd3/NuRD repressive activity on the pluripotency circuitry during iPSC differentiation and reprogramming without ablating somatic cell proliferation. Inhibition of Gatad2a facilitates deterministic murine iPSC reprogramming within 8 days. We validate a distinct molecular axis, Gatad2a-Chd4-Mbd3, within Mbd3/NuRD as being critical for blocking reestablishment of naive pluripotency and further highlight signaling-dependent and post-translational modifications of Mbd3/NuRD that influence its interactions and assembly. Optimized partial depletion of Mbd3 had been implicated in deterministic reprogramming. Hanna and colleagues now dissect the subcomplex within Mbd3/NuRD that underlies this outcome. Gatad2a is identified as a flexible component that can be entirely ablated without compromising somatic cell proliferation and yet still similarly yields deterministic mouse iPSC formation.