Sinodinos was born in Newcastle, New South Wales, and attended the University of Newcastle. He subsequently worked as a public servant and political adviser, most notably as chief of staff to Prime Minister John Howard between 1997 and 2006. Before being elected to the Senate at the 2010 federal election, Sinodinos spent periods working for Goldman Sachs and the National Australia Bank. He was appointed Assistant Treasurer in the Abbott Government in 2013, but stepped aside from his ministerial duties in March 2014 during an investigation by the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC); he still formally held the position until resigning in December 2014. In September 2015, Sinodinos returned to the ministry as Cabinet Secretary in the Turnbull Government. He was made Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science in January 2017. He took a leave of absence from parliament in October 2017 due to ill health, and left the ministry in December 2017. In May 2019, it was announced that Sinodinos would be appointed the next Australian Ambassador to the United States.