Corneal injuries are among the major causes of ocular morbidity and vision impairment. Optimal epithelial wound healing is critical for the integrity and transparency of the cornea after injury. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a mitogen and motility factor that primarily regulates epithelial cell function. Herein, we investigate the effect of HGF on proliferation of corneal epithelial cells (CECs) in inflamed conditions both in vitro and in vivo. We demonstrate that HGF not only promotes CEC proliferation in homeostatic conditions but also reverses the anti-proliferative effect of the inflammatory environment on these cells. Furthermore, using a mouse model of ocular injury, we show that HGF treatment suppresses ocular inflammation and actively augments CEC proliferation, leading to improved and accelerated corneal epithelial repair. These findings have potential translational implications and could provide a framework for the development of novel HGF-based therapies for corneal epithelial defects.