Dimas was born in 1941 in Corinth. He studied law at the Athens University and political and economic science in London and New York. He has worked at a Wall Street firm and as a World Bank executive.
In 1975, he was appointed deputy governor of the Hellenic Industrial Development Bank. He was also member of the negotiating committee for the accession of Greece to the European Economic Community (EEC).
In March 2004, he was appointed European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, taking over the role from the previous Greek Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou, while in November 2004 he assumed the environment portfolio.
In July 2010, he was appointed New Democracy vice president for the sector of Economy, Development and Competitiveness, Shipping, Energy, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport, Health, Social Policy and Government Programme. In November 2011, he was sworn in as Foreign Minister in Lucas Papademos' interim coalition government.
Stavros Dimas is married and has three children.