A general method for the intermolecular coupling of aryl halides and amides using a Xantphos/ Pd catalyst is described. This system displays good functional group compatibility, and the desired C-N bond forming process proceeds in good to excellent yields with 1-4 mol % of the Pd catalyst. Additionally, the arylation of sulfonamides, oxazoildinones, and ureas is reported. The efficiency of these transformations was found to be highly dependent on reaction concentrations and catalyst loadings. A Pd complex resulting from oxidative addition of 4-bromobenzonitrile, (Xantphos)Pd(4-cyanophenyl)(Br) (II), was prepared in one step from Xantphos, Pd-2(dba)(3), and the aryl bromide. Complex II proved to be an active catalyst for the coupling between 4-bromobenzonitrile and benzamide. X-ray crystallographic analysis of 11 revealed a rare trans-chelating bisphosphine-Pd(II) structure with a large bite angle of 150.7degrees.