Larry Dinger grew up in Riceville, Iowa
Dinger is a graduate of Macalester College (BA 1968), Harvard Law School (JD 1975), and the National War College (MA 2000).
After graduating from Macalester College in 1968, Dinger entered the Naval Officer Candidate School, Newport, Rhode Island, and was commissioned as a Navy "line" officer in April 1969. He first served in Nha Be, Vietnam. His then served in the Fleet Operations Control Center Europe in London, England, from 1970 to 1972.
After the Navy and law school, Dinger worked in politics from 1975–1980, including on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee staff, ran for office in his home state of Iowa, and practiced law in 1981-82 as a sole practitioner in Riceville, Iowa before entering the Foreign Service in 1983.
In his early career, Dinger served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (1995–96), political officer at Embassy Canberra (1992–95), Indonesia Desk Officer (1990–92), political officer at Embassy Jakarta (1987–1990), Staff Assistant in the EAP Bureau (1985–86), and consular/narcotics affairs officer at Embassy Mexico City (1983–85). The Department selected him to be a student at the National War College in Washington, D.C., entering in August 1999 and graduating in June 2000.
From August 2004 to June 2005, he was the State Department's Senior Advisor to the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. His duties included mentoring the Foreign Service officers studying at the Naval War College, teaching a course on "strategy," and serving as liaison on political/military issues between Naval War College personnel and the State Department.
Dinger was U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Fiji Islands, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Tuvalu from July 2005 to June 2008.
Previously, he was U.S. Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia (2002–2004), Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Kathmandu (2001–2002), and Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy Suva (1996–1999).
Larry Dinger and his brother John R. Dinger are the first career Foreign Service Officer brothers to become ambassadors. Larry was sworn in as ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia in December 2001 while his younger brother John was already ambassador to Mongolia.