The aim of this study was to synthesize and characterize fatty acid-grafted-chitosan (fatty acid-g-CS) polymer and their nanomicelles for use as carriers for gene delivery. CS was hydrophobically modified using saturated fatty acids of increasing fatty acyl chain length. Carbodiimide along with N-hydroxysuccinimide was used for coupling carboxyl group of fatty acids with amine groups of CS. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to quantify fatty acyl substitution onto CS backbone. The molecular weight distribution of the synthesized polymers was determined using size exclusion high performance liquid chromatography and was found to be in range of the parent CS polymer (∼50 kDa). The critical micelle concentration (cmc) of the polymers was determined using pyrene as a fluorescent probe. The cmc was found to decrease with an increase in fatty acyl chain length. The amphiphilic fatty acid-g-CS polymers self-assembled in an aqueous environment to form nanomicelles of ∼200 nm particle size and slightly positive net charge due to the cationic nature of free primary amino groups on CS molecule. These polymeric nanomicelles exhibited excellent hemo- and cytocompatibility, as evaluated by in vitro hemolysis and MTT cell viability assay, respectively, and showed superior transfection efficiency compared to unmodified chitosan and naked DNA. The surface of these nanomicelles can be further modified with ligands allowing for selective targeting, enhanced cell binding, and internalization. These nanomicelles can thus be exploited as potential nonviral gene delivery vectors for safe and efficient gene therapy.